The web is abuzz with news of a recent meta-study that proves that organic produce is healthier than conventional. The study analyzed from over 300 peer-reviewed articles and found that:
- Organic crops have lower pesticide residues (the frequency of pesticides in conventional foods was 4 times higher than in organic food)
- Organic crops are higher in some antioxidants such as phenolic acids, flavanones, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols and anthocyanins. Antioxidants are linked to lower risks of cancer.
- Organic crops had significantly lower levels of toxic cadmium compared to conventional crops.
So, the question is – should you switch to eating exclusively organic?
The answer is not that simple.
Most people are not eating the right kind of food. Too much meat and fatty dairy, too little plants. Too many processed snacks, too little real foods. Refined sugars and flours instead of whole grains.
These modern eating habits have a much more profound effect on a person’s health than a decision to buy organic produce.
For the majority of the US population, going organic is like doing AP Algebra when you are still struggling with the multiplication table. America needs to start with the basics of eating more vegetables and less junk food.
Don’t get us wrong, the organic movement is super important. It does matter: sustainability, animal welfare, reduction of pesticide and hormone use are all important on a regional, national, and global level.
It’s just that “organic” sometimes blinds people as to what they can do to improve their diets. There’s a lot you can do to eat healthier, starting with conventional foods. For example, if you think you need more antioxidants – just eat more fruits and vegetables.
What to do at the supermarket:
If you can afford organic produce, enjoy!
If not, don’t use that as an excuse not to buy conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
If $10 can get you only 2 lbs. of organic produce, but 6 lbs. of conventional, you know what we recommend.
Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses – Journal of Nutrition – June 2014