What Are Your Health Advantages for Organic Food Vs Non Organic

The debate goes on between food that is organically grown and food that is not. Each side has some valid arguments, but the debate seems to center on what a person's preconceived notions happen to be. Since I have no stake in the argument other than wanting to know which foods truly are more nutritious and healthy, I will try to take an objective view. At the end of the article you will probably not change your point of view, but hopefully will have a better understanding of both sides of the issue.

First, we will give a quick comparison of the two. Conventional farming will apply chemical fertilizers, spray insecticides for pest and disease control, use herbicides to manage weeds, and give animal's antibiotics and growth hormones. In contrast, organic farming will apply natural fertilizers such as manure or compost, use traps or birds for pest control, hand till for weed management, and feed animals with organic materials.

In the United States, the Department of Agriculture decides whether products are organic or not. These strict government standards regulate how organic foods must be grown, handled and processed. Products that are completely organic are labeled "100% organic" and carry the USDA seal. Such products are vegetables, fruits, eggs and other single ingredient products. The label "organic" can be used on products that have multiple ingredients provided they are at minimum 95% organic. When you see a label that says "made with organic ingredients", the product must contain at least 70% organic. If it says "natural", that is not the same as "organic".

So to get to the question at hand: is organic the healthier alternative. Unfortunately after all these years we still don't have a scientific answer. Researchers comparing the two have found the nutrient content to be similar, so from that standpoint it doesn't seem to make much difference.

The reasons why most people buy organic foods will fall into three general categories:

1. The environment. Organic farming is designed to protect the environment, so from an overall health impact the contaminants that we breathe certainly will have an effect on toxins. We know that they cause problems with the liver, and why we advocate detoxing your body. But unfortunately for that to help the individual everyone would have to get on the program, which isn't likely short-term.

2. Pesticides. When farmers spray pesticides, residue can remain on the product. By buying organic you can limit you exposure to a lot of this harmful residue, as organic food has been tested to have less pesticide residue. But much of this issue can be alleviated by thoroughly washing all products, and residue on both organic and non organic product can't exceed government safety thresholds.

3. Food additives. As organic regulations ban or severely limit food additives and fortifying agents commonly used in conventional foods, this may be the strongest argument for opting for organic product.

Organic foods typically cost more and because they are untreated often spoil quicker than non organic product. Perhaps the best way to go is to always thoroughly wash your produce, and peel whenever you can. By selecting from a variety of food sources, both organic and non organic, you will reduce your chance of exposure to any pesticide.