What Is Organic Food, And Is Organic Food Healthier Than Non-Organic Food?
Over the previous two decades, organic foods have become increasingly popular.
In fact, in 2014, Americans spent $39.1 billion on organic fruit.
Sales climbed by more than 11% from 2014 to 2015, indicating that the popularity isn’t waning.
Many individuals believe that organic food is safer, healthier, and more delicious than conventional food.
Others argue that it is better for the environment and animal welfare.
This post compares organic versus non-organic foods objectively, including nutrient content and health impacts.
- 1 What is Organic Food?
- 2 Is Organic Food Healthier Than Non-Organic Food? Organic Foods May Contain More Nutrients
- 3 Do Organic Foods Have Health Benefits?
What is Organic Food?
The term “organic” refers to the process of producing specific foods.
Artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically engineered organisms have not been used in the production of organic foods.
A food product must be free of artificial food additives in order to be labeled organic.
Artificial sweeteners, preservatives, coloring, flavoring, and monosodium glutamate are all examples (MSG).
To boost plant development, organically farmed crops typically employ natural fertilizers such as manure. Antibiotics and hormones are not provided to organically bred animals.
Organic farming tends to increase soil quality and groundwater conservation. It may also be helpful for the environment because it minimizes pollution.
Fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy products, and meat are the most widely purchased organic foods. Many processed organic items, such as sodas, cookies, and morning cereals, are now accessible.
Is Organic Food Healthier Than Non-Organic Food? Organic Foods May Contain More Nutrients
Organic and non-organic foods have yielded conflicting results in studies examining nutrient content.
This is most likely due to variations in food handling and production that occur naturally.
However, data suggests that organically farmed foods are more healthy.
Organically Grown Crops Have More Antioxidants and Vitamins
According to several studies, organic foods have higher quantities of antioxidants and key micronutrients like vitamin C, zinc, and iron.
Antioxidant content in some meals can be up to 69 percent greater.
Organically cultivated berries and corn also had 58 percent more antioxidants and up to 52 percent more vitamin C, according to one study.
Furthermore, one study found that substituting organic fruit, vegetables, and cereals for standard equivalents could boost antioxidant levels in the diet. This was equivalent to eating an additional 1-2 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
To protect themselves, organic plants do not use chemical pesticides. They manufacture more of their own defensive molecules, such as antioxidants, instead.
Nitrate Levels are Generally Lower
Nitrate levels have also been found to be lower in organically cultivated crops. In fact, studies have found that nitrate levels in these crops are 30 percent lower.
Nitrate levels beyond a particular threshold have been related to an increased risk of some cancers.
They’re also linked to methemoglobinemia, an infantile disease that impairs the body’s ability to transport oxygen.
Many people, however, believe that the dangers of nitrates have been exaggerated. The advantages of eating veggies considerably exceed the disadvantages.
Organic Dairy and Meat May Have A More Favorable Fatty Acid Profile
Organic milk and dairy products may have somewhat higher quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin E, and certain carotenoids than conventional milk and dairy products.
Organic milk, on the other hand, may have lower levels of selenium and iodine than non-organic milk, two minerals that are needed for good health.
Organic beef has higher quantities of omega-3 fatty acids and somewhat lower amounts of saturated fats than conventional meat, according to an assessment of 67 research.
A higher omega-3 fatty acid intake has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease.
Do Organic Foods Have Health Benefits?
Organic foods may have health benefits, according to some data.
Several laboratory investigations, for example, discovered that their higher antioxidant content helped protect cells from harm. Organic meals have also been shown in animal tests to boost growth, reproduction, and the immune system.
According to one study, poultry fed an organic diet gained less weight and had stronger immune systems.
Organic foods have been related to a lower risk of allergies and eczema in children and newborns in observational studies in humans.
In a major observational research of 623,080 women, no difference in cancer risk was discovered between those who never ate organic food and those who ate it on a daily basis.
Antioxidant levels were shown to be higher in men who ate an organic diet in another investigation. This study, however, was tiny and not randomized.
Those who followed an organic or conventional diet for two three-week periods had somewhat higher levels of specific antioxidants in their urine than those who maintained a conventional diet. However, there were certain limitations to this study that could have contributed to the disparities.