Organic vs. Non-Organic
Learn the difference between organic foods and their traditionally grown counterparts. Decide which is best for you, considering nutrition, quality, taste, cost and other factors.
- Is organic food more nutritious?
A recent study examined the past 50 years’ worth of scientific articles about the nutrient content of organic and conventional foods. The researchers concluded that organically and conventional produced foodstuffs are comparable in their nutrient content. In addition, organic produce is not as widely available as other produce. That means, depending on where you live, it may be shipped from farther away that non-organic produce and, in some cases, it may sit longer on the shelf before it is sold. During the lag time between harvest and consumption, certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, can degrade within produce, affecting its nutritional value.
- Other Factors to Consider…
- Pesticides: Conventional growers use pesticides to protect their crops from insects. According to the USDA, organic produce carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce. However, residues on most products, both organic and non-organic, do not exceed government safety thresholds. Most experts agree that the amount of pesticides found on fruits and vegetables poses very little health risk.
- Food Additives: Organic regulations ban or severely restrict the use of food additives, processing aids and fortifying agents commonly used in non-organic foods, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
- Taste: Some people say they can taste the difference between organic and non-organic food. Others say they find no difference. Taste is a subjective and personal consideration.
- Environment: Some people buy organic food for environmental reasons. Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.
- Cost: Organic produce often costs more than non-organic. Higher prices are due to more expensive farming practices, tighter government regulations and lower crop yields.