We all like the idea of organic produce and meat. But do we really know what it’s all about? What are the differences between organic and non organic foods?
Organic produce tends to come in different shapes and sizes while non-organic options always look the same in terms of shape, size, and even color. As far as produce goes, many non organic versions are dyed and picked to look identical so consumers don’t think anything is off with the product.
For example, many non organic growers dye their fruits to have their typical colors. Many oranges actually turn green once they are fully ripe, so many growers dye the fruits orange for the sake of consumers. Organic growers are not permitted to dye their fruits, or any food, at all. As you can guess, the methods used to dye or color produce are unnatural and can reduce nutrition as well as adding harmful chemicals.
As far as meat goes, organic means that everything the pig, cow, or chicken eats is non GMO, organic, and the animal is antibiotic free unless the antibiotics are medically necessary.
Although there are some nutritional differences in certain types of foods grown organically, others see no difference, or very little difference in nutrition. All of this is not yet clear, however. There have been many studies considering the difference in nutrients between organically grown and non organically grown food, but the results are inconclusive.
As far as meat, studies have shown that organic chicken contains 38% more heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Other than this study, there are no major differences in nutrition, but the chicken may contain less salt and other additives.
One thing to remember about picking up organic rather than conventionally grown, is that they have significantly lower amounts of pesticide residue than organic variations. There are some pieces of produce that do not come become overly contaminated with pesticides due to a thick skin that is not usually eaten. For example, avocados.
Non-Organic Produce With Fewer Pesticides
– Avocados: the hard skin helps protect the edible parts from pesticides.
– Sweet Corn: the husks act as a protective shield against most pesticides.
– Pineapples: the rough skin protects against animals and pesticides.
– Cabbage: thoroughly clean and peel the outside later to rid the vegetable of the majority of pesticide residue.
– Onions: the thick skin is generally removed before eating anyway, but be sure to wash it thoroughly if using for stock.
Buying organic produce is something to consider because a study has shown that 73 percent of conventional produce sampled had residue from at least one pesticide, while only 23 percent of organic had pesticide residue.
As far as nutrition goes, organic varieties are not necessarily healthier. The upside to buying organic is that you lessen the chance of coming in contact with harmful pesticides. As you can imagine, pesticides are not natural and not good for our health, so being able to avoid them will be better for you in the long run.