Buying Organic Foods: Is it Worth It?

shopping-organic-foodsDeciding whether or not to splurge on the cost of buying organic foods can be a confusing decision and if so, what should you buy organic? Well, there are now many studies that are confirming exactly what natural health practitioners have been so incensed about, which is the effect of pesticides being used in traditional farming practices and how it affects our fruits, veggies and grains.

Studies have proven that the Vitamin C content and even Quercetin (in apples) is 30% higher in organically grown foods vs. non-organic.  Basic nutrient intake or core basic nutrients found in just about every fruit and vegetable grown organically tested was shown to have about 30% higher nutrient levels (vitamins) and all other minerals 15% higher in value compared to traditional grown counterparts.

The phytonutrient and phytosterol levels are higher in veggies and fruits that are grown organically, flavanoids in berries, etc. as well.  ORAC value greens, reds, purples foods, anti-aging carotenoids, polyphenols content were also higher on organic foods. These are the naturally occurring compounds that are nature’s cancer fighters.

Pesticides and fears of those chemicals are a real and true issue! Chemical exposures as tested in literature shows us that as of the year 2000, over a billion pounds of pesticides have been used on our food sources. We utilize l/5th of the world’s use of pesticides in this country alone. Farmers that do run organic farms, must be very careful about start-up when it comes to safe soil, because the soils must lie dormant for years before they can claim they are safe and clean of pesticides. These chemicals stay in the soil for so many years.

Neighborning farms or even wind shifts from traditional growing farms could spread its pesticides into the organic farms, so distance away from others is important too. Arsenic and cadmium used in conventionally raised foods from their pesticides have been found in many traditionally grown foods. The bad news too is that  l/3 of the food you eat not organically grown is pesticide residues.

  • Some of the studies show: Potatoes: Vitamin C levels, polyphenols, antioxidants, chlorogenic acids with organic vs. conventional have nutrient difference;
  • Grape juices like Welch’s — polyphenols, resveratrol which are the important parts of grape, have much higher levels in organic grown grapes than conventional.
  • Peaches and pears also showed that Vitamin C and polyphenols were significantly higher in organically grown fields, studied over a 5 year period;
  • Wheat and grains — is this why so many people seem to be allergic or sensitive to wheat gluten? Pesticide residues are so much higher now than they were 10 years ago. Because of these pesticides sprayed on traditional food farms, people are increasingly intolerant to wheat gluten. Organically grown wheat actually has less gluten in it than conventionally grown wheat. Wheat and gluten intolerance can be tested 90% effectively in a blood test and more gluten in foods is bad for us. We don’t need higher levels than organically grown wheat naturally provides.

Another important thing to note is that our government is pushing the other way against organic and healthier farming. They are making laws against the use and sale of raw milk, as in the incident lately of some Amish dairy farmers getting arrested because they were selling milk that was pure and raw, which the government has decided is not safe, not taking into account that its your choice to drink raw milk and that the farmers producing the sale of this milk know what they are doing and are not selling anything dangerous when handled properly. Pasturized milk only is allowed according to the FDA, but the truth is that the molecular structure of milk is highly changed with this process of pasturization and raw milk, handled properly is healthy and much better for you.

Organically fed cows vs. not, had much higher levels of Omega 3’s (alpha linolenic acids, etc), while antioxidant deprevation and vitamin, mineral deprevation from conventionally grown foods, will cost us our health big time.

The benefit of spending some more money on organic foods may be the most important thing to do for the health of your future on your health and aging disease.

Courtesy of The Nutrition Advisor Blog — you can also visit her website.

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  1. Linda; I just got back from Whole Foods, and I agree with you, but we have to be careful shoppers. Some of the items are astronomical in price, while others are more reasonable. My local Shop Rite—I live on the East coast, so I don’t think you have this chain in Detroit, but it carries a wide range of organic foods which are more reasonable in price. It is really a very hard decision to make, but I adoredd reading your article.

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