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The Benefits of Organic vs Conventional Food

The Benefits of Organic vs Conventional Food



The debate between organic and conventionally produced food continues, and a  new infographic (below) produced by gives more statistics to consider. The creators  focused on the  unhealthiest conventional foods, what meat looks like from both  a  grain-fed and  a grass-fed cow, and the nutrient differences between   organically and conventionally grown products.

Researchers have conducted many studies on whether organic foods are  more  nutritious than conventionally grown foods, and the results are  varied,  depending on what study you go by. This infographic states that  they have one  quarter more nutrients than nonorganic. One of the most  well-known and  frequently cited study, done by Stanford University  scientists, looked at over  forty years of data comparing the two types  of food, and concluded that organic  foods are no more nutritious nor  more likely to be contaminated. However, critics of that research say organic is still superior,  as  it excludes antibiotics and artificial growth hormones, high  fructose corn  syrup, artificial sweeteners and dyes, pesticides, and  sewage sludge from being  present.

An interesting thing to note is the three countries that eat the most   organic foods. Per capita, they are Denmark, Switzerland and Austria.  According  to the CIA World Factbook, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria  are all in the top  25 percent ranking of countries with the highest life  expectancies, with all  three ahead of the United States. In a 2012  study by Bloomberg, Switzerland  ranked as the fourth healthiest country in the world. These could be  coincidences, of course, but lend more credence to the benefits of buying  organic.

Perhaps the most surprising section of the infographic is when it  states  what are the best foods to buy organic. Beef and milk make the  list, as the  controversy over antibiotics and artificial growth hormones like rBGH being added to them are  well known. But did you realize that  conventionally produced celery, popcorn  and tomato sauce contain very  high amounts of chemicals and pesticides? Or  that, just as important as  the quality of food you buy, is the type of cookware  you prepare it  with? The makers of the graphic recommend you buy “organic  cookware,”  meaning avoid plastic, aluminum, and Teflon “nonstick” coated  cookware  in the kitchen. Instead, sites like say you can   safely use cast iron, stainless steel, glass and stoneware cooking pots  and  pans for all your culinary needs.

It’s important to do your research when choosing whether or not to  buy  organic. There are many factors involved in choosing produce and  meats, and  different products have different risks and possible health  benefits associated  with buying it organic or conventionally grown.

Eating organic saves us money in the long run because we offset all of the healthcare costs


by Sarah Shultz for Diets in Review


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