Is organic actually healthier?

By: Ashley Harris

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Organic. Organic is defined by many as the healthiest option in the grocery store, but is it really as healthy as it may seem?

To start things off, you might be wondering what exactly organic is? Well, organic is when either produce, or certain ingredients, are farmed and produced without the use of unnecessary chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or any artificial chemicals.

Of course, when you read this, you might think “Huh, organic does seem healthier.” However, that isn’t always the case.

Organic is only supplemental in certain foods such as spinach, green peas, apples, peaches, and many more. The general rule is that if a fruit or vegetable has a thick layer of skin protecting it (such as avocados, bananas, and oranges) there is no need to spend the extra buck for organic.

However, vegetables such as leafy green are the most prone to absorb these toxic chemicals and get into your digestive tract. That is why leafy greens are especially important to buy organic.

This leads to my next point: Why is organic so much more expensive than conventional produce? On average, organic foods tend to cost over 50% more than their non-organic competitors. The reason for this is that farmers tend to have to use physical, mechanical, and biological controls instead of pesticides to assure a good harvest.

There are two main points to consider when deciding whether or not to buy organic. 1. Are you doing it for your health? Or 2. Are you doing it for the environment?

First, I will be addressing #1. If you indeed seek out organic options opposed to conventional produce simply for your health, then I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. According to research done by UCDavis health, organic foods and non-organic foods contain the exact same amount of nutrients and macros.

On the other hand, if you are motivated for the reason of #2 then I would absolutely reach for organic foods. According to Harvard, “Organic foods are clearly healthier for the planet, because they support an agricultural system that avoids synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and promotes a more biodiverse ecosystem, with attention to the health of waterways, soil, air, wildlife, farm workers, and the climate.”

So, if you are reaching out for organic foods simply for your health, don’t waste your money. However, if you are seeking out organic foods for the environment, then 100% keep seeking them out.

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