Organic food has suddenly become popular in the past two decades.
In fact, US consumers spent $ 39.1 billion on organic products in 2014 .
Its popularity does not seem to be slowing because revenue has increased by more than 11% in the period 2014-2015 .
Many people think that organic food is safer, healthier and more delicious than regular foods . Others say it is good for the environment and animal life.
This article will objectively compare organic and inorganic foods, including nutritional content and its effects on human health.
What is organic food?
The term "organic" refers to the process of producing certain types of food.
Organic foods are grown or raised without the use of artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or other substances Genetically modified organisms .
To be labeled organic, foods need not contain artificial food spices.
These include artificial sweeteners, preservatives, coloring, flavoring and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Organic crops tend to use natural fertilizers such as manure to improve crop growth. Organic animals should also not use antibiotics or hormones.
Organic agriculture also tends to improve soil quality and protect groundwater. It helps reduce pollution, making the environment better.
The most commonly consumed organic foods are fruits, vegetables, cereals, c dairy products and meat. Today, there are many types of processed organic products, such as soda, biscuits and breakfast cereals.
Conclude: Organic food is produced through farming methods using only natural substances. This means that it avoids all artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Organic food contains more nutrients
Studies comparing nutrient content between organic and inorganic foods have produced mixed results.
This occurs due to natural changes in the handling and production of food.
However, evidence has shown that foods of organic origin contain more nutrients.
Organic crops have more antioxidants and vitamins
Several studies have found that organic foods contain high levels of antioxidants and some nutrients like vitamin C, zinc and iron .
In fact, antioxidants can be up to 69% higher in these foods .
One study also showed that organic berries and corn contain 58% more antioxidants and 52% vitamin C .
Moreover, a study also showed that replacing fruits, vegetables and regular cereals with organic versions helps to provide more antioxidants in the diet. This is comparable to eating 1-2 servings of vegetables per day .
Organic plants do not rely on pesticides to protect themselves. Instead, they create many protective compounds, which are antioxidants.
That explains partly why these plants have high levels of antioxidants.
Nitrate levels are often lower
Organic crops have also been shown to have lower nitrate levels. In fact, studies show that nitrate levels are lower than 30% in these plants .
High levels of nitrates increase the risk of some types of cancer .
They are also related to the situation a neonatal disease affecting the ability to transport oxygen in the body .
Despite this, many people believe that the harmful effects of nitrates have been exaggerated. The benefits of eating vegetables are superior to any negative effects.
Organic milk and meat contain better fatty acids
Milk and organic dairy products contain a large amount omega-3 fatty acids with a slightly higher amount of iron, vitamin E and some carotenoids .
However, milk Organic may contain less selenium and iodine than inorganic milk, these are two essential minerals for health .
A review of 67 studies showed that organic meat contained higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids Low saturated fat more than regular meat .
High intake of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to many health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease.
However, some studies do not find the difference
While some studies show that organic food contains a lot of nutrients, many other studies have not found enough evidence to conclude organic than inorganic .
An observational study comparing the nutrient absorption of nearly 4,000 adults consuming organic or conventional vegetables, results show a conflict.
Although a certain amount of nutrients in the organic group is slightly higher, this is mostly due to higher consumption of vegetables .
An evaluation of 55 studies showed that there was no difference in nutrient content between organic plants compared to conventional plants, except for lower nitrate concentrations in organic products .
Another review of 233 studies shows that there is not strong evidence to conclude that organic food is more nutritious than conventional food .
However, it is important to remember that the results of these studies vary widely.
That's because the nutrient content in food depends on many factors, such as soil quality, weather conditions and harvest.
The composition of dairy and meat products may be affected by genetic differences, livestock breeds, animal feed, time of year and type of farm.
Natural variations in food production and processing make comparisons difficult. Therefore, the results of these studies need to be interpreted with caution.
Conclude: Organic crops contain less nitrates and more vitamins, minerals and certain antioxidants. Organic dairy and meat products contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids. However, evidence is mixed again.
Less chemicals and bacteria resistant to drugs
Many people choose to buy organic food to avoid artificial chemicals.
Evidence suggests that consumption of these foods helps reduce exposure to pesticide and antibiotic-resistant bacteria residues .
One study showed the content an extremely toxic metal, less than 48% in organic products. In addition, pesticide residues are found four times more in inorganic crops .
It is important to note that although the cadmium content and pesticide residues are higher in conventional crop products, they are still lower than the safe level .
However, some experts worry that cadmium can accumulate over time in the body and cause many harms. Washing, scrubbing, peeling and cooking can reduce these chemicals, although they cannot always be completely removed .
However, the evidence suggests that the risk of exposure to pesticide residues in foods is quite small and does not cause harm .
Because organic farming does not use antibiotics in animals, these products often have lower levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria .
Conclude: Choosing organic foods helps reduce exposure to toxins, pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, normal toxin levels in products are often lower than safety limits.
Is organic food healthy?
There is some evidence that organic foods are healthy.
For example, some laboratory studies show that higher levels of antioxidants help protect cells from damage. And animal studies show that organic diets are beneficial for growth, reproduction and the immune system .
One study also reported that chickens that used organic diets reduced weight gain and had a stronger immune system .
Observational studies on humans have linked organic foods to reduce the risk of allergies and eczema in children and infants .
A large study observed that 623,080 women showed no difference in the risk of cancer among those who never ate organic food and those who ate regularly .
Another study found that oxidation levels in men were higher after applying an organic diet. However, this study is very small and not random .
When 16 people followed a normal or organic diet in two 3-week periods, those who applied the organic diet had slightly higher levels of antioxidants in their urine. However, this study also has limitations that can cause differences .
Unfortunately, there simply isn't enough evidence to confirm that organic food is more beneficial to human health than regular foods .
Therefore more high quality research is needed.
Conclude: There is not enough evidence to prove that using organic food will bring more health benefits than regular food.
Organic food waste is still garbage food
Just because some products are labeled "organic" doesn't mean it's healthy.
Such as cookies, chips, soda and organic ice cream can be purchased at the supermarket.
Although organic, these products are still unhealthy. So if you're trying weight loss or eat healthy, these foods can be harmful to the body.
Organic product packages often state that the internal ingredients are "natural" - for example, using pure cane sugar instead of granulated sugar. But the road is still the road.
The majority of the population has consumed too much sugar . It is completely wrong to think that using organic sugar is healthy.
Simply put, when choosing organic waste food, it is just to choose a slightly higher quality version than regular trash food.
However, because the general rules prohibit the use of artificial food additives in these foods, choosing to buy organic foods is a good way to blame most of the chemicals in normal foods.
Conclude: Processed organic foods still contain less nutrients and are high in fat, sugar and calories. Organic food waste is still garbage food.
How to recognize when buying organic products
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set up an organic certification program.
This means that any farmer or food producer selling organic foods must meet strict government standards.
If you decide to buy organic, it is important to look for USDA organic seals.
Also, read the words on the package carefully to determine if the food is really organic:
- 100% organic: This product is completely made of organic ingredients.
- Organic: At least 95% of the ingredients in this product are organic.
- Produced by organic: At least 70% of the composition is organic.
If a product contains less than 70% organic ingredients, it will not be labeled organic or USDA stamped.
Similar standards apply in Europe, Canada and Australia. Each country or continent has its own seal to help consumers identify organic foods.
Conclude: To identify organic foods, look for the appropriate seal or the words on the package like 1 of the 3 examples above.
Organic food contains more antioxidants and nutrients than regular foods, although the evidence is still inconsistent.
Consuming organic food may also reduce exposure to artificial antibiotic-resistant chemicals, hormones and bacteria.
However, they are usually expensive and break faster.
In addition, it is not clear whether organic substances have any additional health benefits.
Whether to buy organic products is an option based on preferences and value of the item.