Are There Any Real Benefits In Buying Organic Produce?

The controversy continues over the nutritional and health supremacy of organic fruits and produce over conventionally grown.  

Every week a new ‘definition’ point of view is established.  

Paula Maier - OrganicThese are some facts to take into account.

It has been found that in about 60% of studies that organic food is higher in some nutrients than conventionally produced food.  

These statistics can be refuted by other studies, but you need to look if the studies that are being compared are done on the same physical area over-time.  Otherwise you are comparing apples to oranges because the soil being tested is not the same.

Polyphenols are antioxidants and may be one of the main reasons fruits and vegetables are healthy for us.  

One issue to consider is what the organic growing process filters versus conventional growing.  

Plants grown organically have to grow stronger from the start because they have to fend off a range of insects and growth disease on their own.  

This ‘defensive compound’ they create may help to keep us healthier according to Charles Benbrook, a researcher at Washington State University. He is with the National Academy of Sciences as chief science consultant for the Organic Center.  

He states. “If you keep putting on more and more nitrogen fertilizer the way conventional farms do, you drive yields up and produce bigger plants.  But, this dilutes the plants’ levels of vitamins, minerals and polyphenols.”

Shelf-life and sugar content

Apples, celery, pears, potatoes, strawberries, sweet bell peppers and sweet potatoes are higher in pesticides on the Dietary Risk Index (DRI), and lower on the Organic Risk Index (ORI).  This affects their shelf-life, and sugar content.  Also to be considered is if the plants are grown domestically (where they are subject to our mandates and regulations about growing procedures) or abroad.

Bottom Line?  Seek out the information in DRI from the EPA and other agencies, and imported vs. domestic statistics when you are making decisions about whether you want to buy organic or domestic fruits and vegetables.  

Make informed decisions with all of the facts.

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4 Responses to "Are There Any Real Benefits In Buying Organic Produce?"

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  1. Food Service Australia

    December 17, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Organic foods are produced without pesticides & chemical fertilizers. They don’t have genetically modified organisms, are not processed with irradiation, industrial solvents, or with chemical food additives.

  2. Julius Dahne

    January 11, 2013 at 2:53 am

    B”H. I love your comments on this complicated subject. You have boiled down some of the key points that so often seem to escape the mainstream media when they cover the issue of organics versus non-organics. I’d like to point you to a resource that I helped put together, a blog post called “10 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Organic Fruits and Veggies. Some of it is about the benefits of just eating more produce, and some of it is about eating organics in particular. I think you’ll like it. Thanks.

    • paula maier

      January 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Thanks for that input and link to more information. You need to weight the pros and cons and make educated decisions for your family.

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