Is organic food better for me?

A question I got in a strategy meeting this week.

 

So I’m going make this SIMPLE and relevant for you.

 

But before that…

 

I really need to know what ‘better’ means to you…

 

Better for weight loss?

 

Better for our taste buds?

 

Better for the environment?

 

Better for ‘health’ (whatever that means to you)?

 

Better for my wallet (probably not…)?

 

And because I’m writing this and we’re not having a conversation

 

^^^ which means you can’t respond

 

I’m going to answer them all for you (because I’m nice…)

 

1) Is organic better for weight loss?

 

An organic carrot contains the same number of calories as a conventional carrot.

 

Just like…

 

Organic milk will contain the same amount of calories as conventional milk.

 

And because your overall balance of energy in and energy out plays a key role in weight loss…

 

It’s logical to conclude that whether you choose to eat organic or conventional food

 

It will not make a difference to your weight loss (providing the amount of food you eat is the same)

 

2) Is organic food tastier?

 

The perception of ‘taste’ is a very subjective one.

 

I mean, if I gave you some tomatoes and told you that ‘this’ one was organic and ‘that’ one was conventional…

 

Would you be more likely to say that the organic tomato tasted better because you have that expectation that it ‘should’?

 

Well, there’s been many studies where they ‘blind’ the tasters

 

^^^ Not literally. Just so they don’t know which are organic and which are conventional

 

The results?

 

Some say conventional taste better…

 

Others say organic tastes better.

 

So is organic food tastier than conventional food?

 

Scientifically…NO

 

But on a practical level, it’s one for you to decide!

 

3) Is organic better for the environment?

 

We often assume that…

 

Organic farming doesn’t use environmentally harmful chemicals.

 

And although organic farmers do appear to strive for ‘best practices’

 

This doesn’t mean ‘organic’ is better for the environment for these 3 reasons:

 

* Organic farming requires more land to produce the same yield as conventional

 

* Copper sulphate (a pesticide) IS allowed in organic farming (some have raised concerns about this)

 

* There are less suppliers of organic produce so the transport miles are often higher…questioning whether organic food is ‘local’

 

So…

 

Is organic better for the environment?

 

Well, it seems there are many shades of grey (probably about 50…)

 

Maybe time will tell?

 

4) Is organic better for our ‘health’?

 

Now, most us assume that ‘organic’ food is grown without chemicals or pesticides.

 

And although pesitcides are in fact used in ‘organic’ farming…

 

You are 30% less likely to find pesticides in organic food.

 

But do pesticides even have a negative impact on your health?

 

Well, pesticides can be ‘toxic’ to organisms (including humans) when administered in ‘adequate’ amounts.

 

But so can…

 

Water…

 

Drinking too much water…can also be ‘toxic’ (as your sodium levels could go too low if you drink too much, too fast (easy on the vino…)

 

And this is exactly why we currently have regulations for the ‘safe’ administration of pesticides!

 

So, what about the nutritional content (like vitamins and minerals) in organic vs. conventional food?

 

Well, out of all of the vitamins and minerals compared in a recent review…

 

Only nitrogen (higher in conventional) and phosphorous (higher in organic) were different.

 

So, is organic better for your health?

 

Apparently not… (but will more time and research prove otherwise?)

 

5) Is ‘organic’ better for my wallet?

 

You know the answer…

 

Organic food can cost between 10% and 100% more than conventional food.

 

My two pence?

 

We’re confused enough as it is…

 

Fat burners…

 

7-day diets…

 

I get that it’s a minefield out there.

 

Which is why you should get the basics right first (as I explained here)

 

And apply a bit of common sense.

 

If eating organic means you’re having to live off of baked beans (despite them actually being tasty and a good source of fibre and protein) and cut your fruit and veg intake

 

Then you’re probably better off switching to conventional …

 

If I had to make an educated guess about which organic vegetables may be better…

 

I’d probably go for the root vegetables (for the reason that there MAY be more nutrition in the soil?)

 

But, I’d rather not guess.

 

And focus on what we do know

 

Eat well, move, and stress less…

 

Speak soon,

 

Matt ‘on the fence’ Fruci

 

PS.I think we need to look at food sustainability first (particularly with ‘mini Fruci’ in mind…)

 

How can we feed a growing population? (don’t worry, we’re not expecting twins)

 

Is conventional better because we get a higher yield?

 

Or

 

Is organic better because they’re striving to use more ‘environmentally friendly’ pesticides and ‘looking after’ the soil?

 

What about genetically modified crops, you ask?

 

Well, are genetically modified crops preventing blindness and saving lives? (check out the Golden Rice project)

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