Wednesday, October 31, 2012

are organic vegetables healthier?

are organic vegetables healthier?


basket of vegetables
image from Microsoft clipart.

From an article titled "Organic food not necessarily better for children", consider:
"While organic foods have lower pesticide levels, they also have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients as their conventional counterparts.
"We do not want families to choose to consume smaller amounts of more expensive organic foods and thus reduce their overall intake of healthy foods like produce," said Janet Silverstein of the American Academy of Pediatrics
A large-scale study by researchers from Stanford University published in early September found that organic foods were no more nutritious than conventional products but contained fewer traces of pesticides."
So, do we go all-in organic?

Like just about everything else, you'll want to tailor your balance of organic vs conventional based on other personal factors:

High vegetable consumption. Do you eat lots of veggies, all the time? You may be at greater risk for the accumulation of pesticides and chemicals inside your body. It's probably a good idea to supplement some of your conventional veggies with organic.

Low vegetable consumption. If you struggle to find your way to the produce isle, and veggies aren't a big part of your diet, you might want to focus your attention on eating these colorful foods first - let's start by increasing your nutrition intake, and you can worry about organic later.

What else do you eat? If you eat mostly pre-packaged snacks and drink diet soda, it's unlikely you're worried about chemicals and artificial ingredients anyway, so don't worry about organic either. On the flip side, if the rest of your diet is natural and artificial ingredient-free, your body might have more capacity available to process any chemicals you digest with your traditional vegetables.

Bottom Line

All else being equal, organic vegetables are healthier than traditional vegetables. You get all the same nutrients either way, but organic veggies contain lower traces of pesticides.

That being said, all else is rarely equal, and traditional vegetables are still a good source of nutrition.

My guess is you have other places in your diet where you can get a bigger impact from making changes, so I would focus my energy on those areas first.

Be healthy.

-Chris Butterworth

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