What’s the Point of Organic Food?


Scientists at Stanford University have concluded that organic fruits, vegetables, and meat are not significantly more nutritious than the same conventionally grown foods. But was anyone under the impression that “organic” stood for “nutritious”?

I’m not sure I know anyone paying the extra money for organic foods because they’re looking for extra nutrients.

One of the main reasons people choose organic is to reduce their consumption of chemicals. When produce is labeled U.S.D.A. Organic, it means the foods were grown without the use of sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, irradiation, and genetically modified organisms. Conventional farmers might not always use these methods, but they can if they like.

There are other reasons. Organic farming, even on a large, industrial scale, protects the workers and the environment from harmful chemicals, not just the consumer. The farms can also offer higher standards of care for animals than conventional farms of the same size — animals are raised without antibiotics or growth hormones and given some access to the outdoors.

This is why people choose organic. Although it’s related to health, it has little to do with getting a daily dose of Vitamin C and more to do with the big picture. But my suggestion, if you’re looking for more nutrients in your food, would be to consider eating more fruits and vegetables in general.

Whether it’s organic or not, the “best” vegetable will always be the one you can afford to take home and find the time to cook.


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