A widely debated topic is the differences between organic and non-organic foods. When organic foods first began growing in popularity, many people made the switch to organic products, automatically assuming that the organic title ensured the products were healthier and chemical-free. However, there have been critics behind organic foods, as some believe that organic foods are not all that different from non-organic.
For many people, the price of organic food is too much for them spend, as organic food is often quite a bit more expensive than non-organic, especially in terms of dairy products and produce. However, the question still remains, when price and taste or put aside, do the health benefits of organic foods outweigh the benefits it non-organic foods?
While the decision is ultimately up to each individual, here is a look at some of the most popular food products in the market and differences between organic and non-organic:
As one of the world’s most consumed products, many question whether organic sugar actually holds any health benefits of regular white sugar. In short, the answer is yes, as organic sugar, while not necessarily meaning unprocessed in nature, is farmed in a more natural way. The fact of the matter is that all sugar must undergo some sort of processing before being sold; however, organic sugar is farmed in a way that avoids using herbicides or pesticides to cultivate sugar. White sugar has undergone quite a bit of processing, as, in order to get that snow white color, all natural molasses content has been removed. In fact companies like Hampton Creek are using organic sugar more and more, in order to offer consumers a more natural alternative to their favorite foods.
When it comes to organic milk versus conventional milk, many people are split over whether one or the other is actually better for the body. At the heart of the matter, research has shown that the differences between the processing is very minimal; however, the main difference between organic versus non-organic is the level of hormones in conventional milk versus organic. The hormones in conventional milk have actually been linked to various types of cancer, including both prostate and breast cancer. For those whose families have a history with either type of cancer, hormone-free milk can help them reduce their risk of cancer. Moreover, organic milk has more omega-3s, which has been linked to reducing the risk of depression, heart disease, and stroke.
When it comes to comparing organic produce versus non-organic, many researchers have found that the true benefits of organic produce is dependent upon what type of produce a person is consuming. The reason why many people are concerned about non-organic produce is due to the potential pesticides and other chemicals that is used on the produce. While that is a valid concern, that concern is dependent upon each individual type of produce rather than produce in general. For instance, produce that has a skin or covering on it, such as a banana, orange, or avocado, the pesticides are not necessarily as much of a concern, as the skin or peels are not usually consumed. However, on foods where the skin or peel is consumed, such as zucchini, apples, or grapes, for those concerned about ingesting pesticides, eating organic produce can be a wise idea.
Similarly to milk, organic meat actually has more omega-3s in it than non-organic. Additionally, many organic meat products are hormone free, again, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Moreover, most organic meats are made from grass-fed animals, which research has shown is more natural than grain fed animals. However, in many studies, if the meat was cooked properly, both organic versus non-organic meat was, essentially, the same, as the cooking process does help to remove any of the risk involved in eating meat.
While there are certainly benefits to eating organic foods, it is always important to do your research first, understanding what products do benefit more from the organic process than the conventional process. Moreover, taking the time to research what you are eating can help you be more aware of what you are specifically putting into your body, helping you make a more conscious effort to eat a more nutritional diet.
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