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Is Organic Food Really Safer?

by Joe Lawrence | November 25th, 2015 | Elementary, Safety

boy with sandwich (400x400)Safety of our children is the number one thought parents have. We are constantly reading and learning about new products and those we use every day in order to ensure they are safe. One such safety concern is the food we feed our children.

There are more and more people switching over to the organic craze each day. Grocery stores are carrying more organic products and stores like Whole Foods and Earth Fare are doing very well. The question that many parents are asking is whether organic food is better than the non-organic products.

There have been many studies conducted on this topic and there seem to be a few common themes among all of them. One of the first themes is concerning nutritional value of produce. Is it really worth spending the extra money? There was a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition that revealed higher concentrations of antioxidants in organic food. There was an 18-69% higher count of polyphenolics (an antioxidant) in various organic fruits and vegetables compared to the conventional products. To put this into perspective, eating four servings of organic fruits would have the same nutritional value as eating five servings of its conventional counterpart.

So why not just eat an extra apple each day and save some money? This question leads to the second theme repeated in almost every study I read: pesticides. Even the studies that claimed no health benefits of organic food versus conventional talked about them. Traces of pesticides found in the produce were much higher in the conventional products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states the pesticide residue found on these products do not pose a safety concern. This made me think twice. Even if the traces of pesticide residue are harmless, why would I want my kid to eat them? Couple that with the fact they would have to eat one more serving of pesticide residue to equal the benefits of organic produce makes it easier for me to spend some extra money at the counter.

Lastly, this is not scientific study related; rather, proof seen with my own eyes and this is concerning ingredients. I was looking for some applesauce a little while back and decided to read the labels. The conventional brands all had many ingredients including some I could not pronounce, but the one that was most puzzling was artificial flavoring. Making homemade applesauce with my mom never required all of these ingredients; we cooked apples and smashed them. The end. Then I read the organic apple sauce label: apples and water. Most did have sugar added as well, but regardless no confusing ingredients.

Are organic foods safer? I guess time will tell for certain, but there are some already agreed upon facts that make these foods a choice of mine.

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