Organic is a word that makes people feel healthy.
But what does the Organic label really mean?
I recently came across an article claiming that foods with an Organic label are more nutritious/healthier than Conventional foods. Spoiler alert: This is untrue. My article for Inside Fitness Magazine explains the precise ins and outs of Organic vs. Conventional meat, but let's get a few other facts straight:
- Organic is a farming method. It does not inherently equate to healthy or nutritious. It is merely a set of standards.
- There is next-to-no evidence that Organic farming methods provide more nutritious or healthier foods.
- Organic farming uses pesticides, just like conventional farming. Yes they are natural, non-synthetic, pesticides. However yes, they can still be very harmful to humans. And yes, they can still be very harmful to the environment.
- For every study that claims there is a difference in nutrient profile, there is another that claims the opposite. There are countless factors that come into play here, but the bottom line is that there is no concrete proof that an Organic label means those foods are safer or healthier.
Organic is just a word. Organic labels are not a panacea.
I've covered this topic in the past, as have many other unbiased resources.The evidence supporting the Organic label is weak. People are willing to spend money on Organic labels because they are uneducated on the subject and feel good about affording the most expensive produce available.
As always, the one Organic label that does have meaning and value is the 100% Grass-fed beef label. Although perhaps minute in the grand scheme of things, and likely meaningless unless your diet is otherwise very nutritious, grass-fed benefits include:
- Less overall fat, less overall calories
- More CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
- More Omega-3 fatty acids
- Higher levels of antioxidants
As always my advice is to start doing research for yourself. Every single food organization in the world wants your business and will advertise their products as such. Labels are misleading, prey on your fears of the unknown, and are designed to make you question your values. By being an informed consumer you can prioritize your health while being kind to your wallet.