Scientific studies show organic food does not have much difference with conventionally farmed produce
Cornell University conducted a group study on organic vs. non-organic food. As expected, participants preferred food items labeled as “organic.” Interestingly, they were willing to pay up to 23% more for it. Their reason is that organic food has better nutrition, it doesn’t use pesticides, and are safer to eat because it’s non-GMO, or is it?
→ Battle of the protein: eggs vs meat.
1. Organic fruits, veggies vs. non-organic
A Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety found “there is no difference in objective disease occurrence” on organic dairy farms as compared to conventional dairies. Even if pigs or poultry on an “organic farm” can roam freely, studies show they are equally exposed to parasites and pathogens. Likewise, non-organic fruits and vegetables are equally safe to eat.
Nutritional values are similar
Stanford University Center for Health Policy compared organic vs. conventional produce in an extensive study. Crystal Smith-Spangler who authored the research didn’t expect the outcome to be as such. Likewise, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition came out with these results:
- Organic foods are NOT nutritionally superior as compared to conventional produce.
- Organic food had a 30 percent lower risk of pesticide residues but the residue levels on the conventional foods were not too far apart.
- Scientific studies do not show that organic products are more nutritious and safer than conventional foods.”
- There is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs.
Organic food doesn’t mean it’s pesticides-free. “Natural pesticides” like copper sulfate or Pyrethrin are linked to liver disease and leukemia, said Bjorn Lomborg, Copenhagen Consensus. Almost 70% of fruit and vegetables sold in the U.S. contains pesticide residue. Conventional produce may have pesticide contamination but it’s usually within safe limits.
2. Farmed vs wild-caught fish
For the marine produce, undoubtedly, wild fish and other free-swimming sea animals will always have the leverage as compared to farmed fishes. For example, wild-caught Alaskan salmon is tastier because of its krill-rich diet evident in its bright red color meat. It also possesses high-quality amounts of fatty acids. Farmed would have toxins, antibiotics, dangerous contaminants, and possibly fed chicken feces.
→ Battle of prebiotics, which is recommended?
3. Organic vs non-organic eggs
A study at the University of Basilicata showed organic meat has better yield and quality of omega 3’s fatty acids. Likewise, organic eggs have a lower risk of “eggshell breaking.” Interestingly, conventional eggs from the Netherlands and Scotland have similar qualities with an organic egg.
Laminine, known for its special egg protein FGF, was sourced from Norway. European farming methods seem to fare better. Of course, it is not to say that organic egg farms in the USA would not be comparable with Europe.
Significantly, organic eggs have a higher Haugh index (protein measure) as compared to non-organic. The yolk contains the highest protein, K and Cu levels. Thus, organic eggs would fare better in terms of protein index.
4. Organic red meat vs. non-organic
Animals in organic farms are not necessarily healthier than animals on industrialized farms. It’s also not true that organic farming will lessen the impact of climate change or increase global warming. However, depending on the farm’s integrity, “truly organic livestock” will likely avoid antibiotics and growth hormone supplements.
The British Journal of Nutrition claimed that organic meat and milk had more omega-3 fatty acids. In their study, organic meat had lower concentrations of acids linked to cardiovascular disease. In addition, they discovered that organic crops have higher antioxidants, lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residue. (2014 Paper)
Look for grass-fed meat
Grass-fed beef and animals have higher nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, and a beneficial fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that’s been tied to improved immunity and anti-inflammation. In addition, grass-fed meat has 50% more omega-3 fatty acids which is not to say it’s better than salmon.
When cows eat grass, they ingest chlorophyll from grass and other useful bacteria found in the soil and plant. Consuming it gives the human body immunity transference.
The bottom line
While organic food over non-organic will always be better, studies show a minimal difference. In other words, much of what advertisers and “organic activists” tell you may be exaggerated. Good produce is a result of clean and well-structured farming. For as long as the farm is compliant, organic food won’t be of too much value.
However, there are exceptions. The Monsanto scandal rocked the entire food industry. Their cancer-causing herbicide and Genetically Modified corn feeds are linked to cancer. Thus when possible, buy organic milk and grass-fed meat. Likewise, consume wild-caught fish, which will always be safer than farmed.