Do You Need To Eat All Organic Food?

 

 

Ok, so this is a touchy one.

 

Do you need to eat all organic food?

 

Your intuition would say yes. Right?

 

Organic should = healthier.

 

Organic foods are just the way mother nature intended ‘em to be. They have to be more… just.. better for you.. right?

 

 

Admittedly, I’m no expert on this topic. And I’m honestly surprised with how much controversy there is when it comes to the importance of eating organic foods.

 

 

Nutritional Value

I love this excerpt from "10 Essential Characteristics of a Healthy Diet":

 

“One way to overpay for food is by subscribing to the organic label, which often doubles the price. But is it worth it? Thus far, a substantial body of research evidence says no. Consecutive systematic reviews have recently concluded that there’s no difference in nutrient quality or nutrition-related health advantages between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs.” (1)

 

Links to said studies:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19640946

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22944875

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20463045

 

Basically, we perceive organic foods to be much more nutritious, and therefore worth the hefty price tag. In reality, the nutritional difference between organically and conventionally produced foods seems to be fairly negligible.

 

 

What About Pesticides?

Ok, so maybe not a big difference in nutritional value. But what about pesticides?

 

From The American Academy Of Pediatrics:

“In terms of health advantages, organic diets have been convincingly demonstrated to expose consumers to fewer pesticides associated with human disease…….current evidence does not support any meaningful nutritional benefits or deficits from eating organic compared with conventionally grown foods, and there are no well-powered human studies that directly demonstrate health benefits or disease protection as a result of consuming an organic diet.” (2)

 

Eating an organic diet definitely reduces your exposure to potentially disease causing pesticides. The problem is, the question: “How much pesticide exposure is too much/when do I need to worry?” doesn’t have a definitive answer. But pesticide exposure definitely merits concerns.

 

 

So, should you eat an all organic diet?

My two cents: get your other “healthy lifestyle factors” in alignment first.

 

Despite the added nutritional benefits of organic foods being small at best, pesticide exposure is still concerning.

 

But, there’s honestly a lot of other things that’ll kill ya before eating non-organic produce.

 

If you’re smoking, overweight, undersleeping, not exercising regularly, or even overstressed; get that figured out first.

 

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.alanaragonblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/10-Essential-Characteristics-of-a-Healthy-Diet.pdf

  2. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2012/10/15/peds.2012-2579.full.pdf