The benefits of organic food nutrition have been widely debated in recent years as the push to “eat organic” gains momentum. With so much data floating around, it can be difficult to determine the facts from the myths when it comes to the actual nutritional differentiators between conventionally farmed and organic foods. Here is a look at some of the most common organic food myths and the facts to disprove them.
Organic Food & the Environment
One large myth surrounding organic farming is that it is better for the environment. Though organic farming doesn’t contaminate the groundwater and soil with chemicals and pesticides at the high rate that conventional farming does, it is actually less productive. What this means is that it takes twice as much land to produce the same amount of food in an organic farming model compared to a conventionally farmed one. If the world switched to solely organic farming, nearly 10 million square miles of wildlife habitats would have to be cut down to allow for the same production.
Organic Food & Your Health
Organic food has perpetuated the myth that it is a healthier choice than conventionally farmed products. However, studies have shown that there is no added nutritional value to eating organic. In fact, the research has been flip-flopping for years as one study finds that particular conventionally farmed crops have the edge, while another finds that organically farmed produce does. Studies have not been able to prove that one is actually better for you than the other and have concluded that the nutritional value of produce is most closely tied with how long it sits on a shelf.
Many people also falsely believe the myth that because it is organic, it doesn’t need to be washed. This too is very untrue as well. All produce is susceptible to bacteria such as E. coli and should be thoroughly cleaned before eating it whether it is organic or not.
A lot of people eat organic because they say that it tastes better. However, in test after test, participants have never been successful in selecting which products are organically grown or not, leaving the conclusion that there is no taste differentiator between the two.
Organic Food & Small Business
A growing myth in the marketplace is that organic is associated with small farms and local producers. With such a boom in the market, many of the top organic producers today are actually the same large multinational companies that lead the conventional farming market as well. With such a high demand for these products, giant companies are in on making the money from these products and have been importing organic ingredients as cheap as they possibly can, many times from other countries. With so much CO2 used for transport, the eco-friendliness of these organic products is questioned often.
The myths surrounding organic products are in place in many cases to help sell the organic products. Use the facts to make your own decision as to whether you want to consume organic products based on the facts, and feel good about your diet.