There has been a lot of recent media hype around the topic of organic foods. This hype has been in response to a study from Stamford University, which was intended to review evidence for the health effects of organic foods. The main conclusions of the study – the one that was continually reported by the press, anyway – was that organic foods were no more nutritionally beneficial than their non-organic alternatives.
So what do we think, here at SR Nutrition?
Well, firstly, we wanted to see what some of our clients and followers thought, so we put out the question on twitter and our Facebook pages. Here are some of the responses we received:
“I like to choose organic when there are dairy/animal products involved due to ethical concerns. Obviously the extra cost is a consideration though.”
“…I always try and go for organic although cost can come into play when looking at family budgets. It’s my husband that tends to freak out about that part but I much prefer knowing that what I am feeding my kids is good for their insides!!”
“No difference! I have no facts to back up this statement but neither have I heard/read any facts of organic food proven to be better for you.”
“..I don’t think the benefits are so great to justify the prices for organic food!”
“I would rather chose organic, my bank balance doesn’t always like it though or I try to buy British fresh produce to support our farmers.”
It is important to note that this study, comparing organic with conventional produce, also found that “consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria” – something that wasn’t so well highlighted by the press!
Additionally, the controversy surrounding the organic vs. non-organic matter was never really about the NUTRITIONAL quality of organic foods, but more about the potential dangers to consumers of non-organic foods because within these foods are likely to be pesticides, agricultural chemicals and antibiotics.
The fact that the nutritional content of organic and non-organic produce is much the same is immaterial to those who campaign in favour of organic foods. Many believe that the consumption of these substances in non-organic produce may be contributing to a number of health problems – including changes to DNA structure, behavioural problems and even cancer.
There is little long-term research into this topic; however, there is much ongoing research, which may help to shed more of a light on the matter. But until then the jury is out!
Wherever you stand on the topic, it is clear – in part – from the comments above, that some people choose not to buy organic. On the other hand some cannot buy organic because of the (usually) greater cost.
At SR Nutrition we believe that everyone should be able to have a choice, as well as the opportunity to buy organic if they so wish.
We also believe that it is always an individual’s choice, but opt for organic produce ourselves for a variety of reasons. Firstly it makes sense from an ecological standpoint, and there is always the issue of animal welfare to consider. Eating organic is as much for the good of the planet as for an individual’s health.
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