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Organic foods: Are they worth the extra cost?

24.4.2023 14:41:00

Organic foods: Are they worth the extra cost?

Most of us are skeptic for many years about organic food. We think it is a marketing strategy: Here's this beautiful food that's more expensive and by the way we don't grow with pesticides and so you've got less harmful chemicals. We have all in our head questions like whether or not that is really true and what do I just wash my food a little bit more instead of paying extra on these organic foods. 
However, studies have shown us that it is not just about the pesticides and chemical fertilizers; there are several reasons why organic foods may have more nutritive value compared to conventional foods.
Of course, organic foods contain fewer chemicals. Organic farming avoids the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These chemicals can potentially reduce the nutritional value of food by degrading the vitamins and minerals in it.
Likewise, organic foods have lower levels of contaminants. Organic farming practices reduce the risk of contamination from harmful substances, such as heavy metals and pesticide residues, which can negatively impact human health.
Moreover, organic foods are grown in nutrient-rich soil. Organic farmers use crop rotation, cover crops, and compost to maintain soil health and fertility. This means that the plants grown in these soils are more likely to contain a higher concentration of nutrients.
But there is another reason that organic foods may contain higher levels of certain nutrients: Several studies have found that organic foods may contain higher levels of certain nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
When organic crops are exposed to pests and parasites, they produce natural defense mechanisms in response. These defense mechanisms include the production of secondary metabolites such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and other antioxidants. These compounds have been shown to have potential health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
For example, Swiss chard grown under organic conditions had higher levels of polyphenols and other antioxidants compared to conventionally grown Swiss chard. The organic Swiss chard was also exposed to higher levels of pest and disease pressure, which the researchers suggested may have contributed to the higher levels of antioxidants.
Another study showed that organic tomatoes exposed to herbivorous insects had significantly higher levels of flavonoids and other beneficial compounds compared to conventionally grown tomatoes. The study suggests that exposure to insect herbivores may be a mechanism by which organic tomatoes produce higher levels of antioxidants and other phytonutrients.
Similarly, it was found that organic blueberries had higher levels of anthocyanins and other antioxidants compared to conventionally grown blueberries, particularly when exposed to insect herbivores. Or organically grown strawberries were found to contain higher amounts of ellagic acid which is what makes strawberries tart and ellagic acid is anti-inflammatory it helps your immune system and it starves cancer. This is a gift of Mother Nature through the evolution that actually developed how plants respond to create more of these bioactives. In some way, this is similar to the fact that people grown up in less sterile environment have higher immunities against allergens in comparison to those who were grown up in more sterile environment, where the autoimmune diseases are on the rise.
In summary, we pay more for organic foods not just because organics have less bad stuff, but more importantly because organics have more good stuff than the conventional foods.

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