This morning I saw someone on Facebook blast an “I told you so” post about how Organic foods are more nutritious/healthier than Conventional foods. Spoiler alert: this is untrue, bogus, poppycock. I won’t elaborate a ton here because I have an article coming out in April for a Canadian Fitness magazine that will explain the ins and outs of Organic vs. Conventional meat, but let’s get a few 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 Organic foods are safer or healthier.
I’ve covered this topic in the past, as have many other smart people (here is another great breakdown in a 2-part series) and as mentioned I have another article coming out about meats in the future. The evidence supporting the Organic label is weak. People are willing to spend money on Organic foods because they are uneducated on the subject and either want to openly demonstrate their propensity for being healthy, or alternatively to demonstrate their social status and ability to waste money.
Without giving too much away, I will say that there is one Organic label that does have meaning and value, and this is the 100% Grass-fed 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
That’s all for today, but as always my advice is to stop being a sheep and 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 and are designed to make you question your values and pry on your fears of the unknown. By being an informed consumer you can prioritize your health while being kind to your wallet.