By Betty Murray
Organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. Or are they? A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine in which doctors from Stanford University examined 240 other studies on organic foods over the last 40 years found that organic foods contain little additional nutritional benefits than non-organic foods.
The Stanford study did note that organic milk has a nutritional advantage over non-organic and that more vitamins and antioxidants were found in organic foods than non-organic. However, the nutritional benefit of eating organic is not as great as the benefit of avoiding exposure to chemicals or the environmental benefits of organic farming
If organic food doesn’t provide a significant nutritional benefit, why bother buying organic foods — and oftentimes spending more? There are other benefits of eating organic including lower risk of exposure to pesticides and the environmentally friendly factors of organic foods.
Pesticides and chemicals
Plants of non-organic foods are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals to avoid being destroyed by bugs or disease. Traces of those pesticides make their way from the farm to the grocery store and to our homes. Pesticides have been linked to cancer and the development of other diseases and disorders. If you choose to eat organic, you are lowering your risk of exposure to toxic pesticides and chemicals on your fruits and vegetables.
When organic farming began, the emphasis was on developing environmentally friendly and sustainable farming method. Organic farms are respectful to our water resources. The elimination of chemicals that pollute the soil protects and conserves water resources. Organic farming also helps build healthy soil.
Additionally, organic producers have become leaders in innovative research, largely at their own expense. According to the Organic Trade Association, “Organic farmers have led the way with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.
The bottom line: choosing organic over non-organic foods may have some nutritional benefit, but there are many other added benefits to eating organic foods.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.