The TRUTH about Organic vs. Conventional Foods:
it’s about More Than Just Pesticides
I know there seems to be an on-going debate out there these days with health professionals, nutritionists,and the media giving different opinions about whether organic food is worth the slightly higher prices.But there are a few VERY important aspects of organic food that I rarely see anybody out there talkingabout.First, as you know, the main aspect that most people talk about in the organic vs conventional food debateis simply whether the food in question was grown with pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, andwhether that food contains pesticide/herbicide residues on the actual food when you eat it.And that IS important... I mean, I know I don't want to be ingesting pesticide residues that are potentiallycarginogenic or even estrogenic and can possibly increase belly fat (due to the xenoestrogens)... and I'msure you don't either!But there's another MAJOR aspect of organic vs conventional food that most people are overlooking, andthat is:
The impacts of conventional farm chemicals on the SOIL, and how that affects the nutritionalcomposition (quantities of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the food)
The harsh chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides used in conventional farming can destroy a largepart of the microbial activity in the soils (bacteria and fungi) that help to make soil minerals more availableto the plants roots. Conventional farming degrades this aspect of the soil which results in lower micro-nutrient levels in the plants that you eat.In organic farming, these harsh chemicals are not used, and the soil is healthier and more biologicallyactive (fungi and bacteria aid the plant roots with uptake of minerals and nutrients), and the plants rootscan therefore obtain more nutrition which produces foods with higher micro-nutrient levels.Also, it's quite possible that the heavy use of chemical fertilizers, which make crops grow much faster thannormal, leads to a shallower root system, that inherently absorbs less micro-nutrients from the soil columncompared to organically raised plants that are forced to have deeper, more extensive root systems toobtain all of the nutrients the plant needs.I think it's quite easy to see why organic foods can have superior nutrition levels and more vitamins,minerals, and antioxidants than conventional foods.But beware of conflicting "reports" out there on this topic. Although there is much data on the superior nutrition levels of organic foods, you may also find some data that contradicts these findings in particular studies.The reason that this happens is that science isn't perfect, and someone may measure the nutrition levels of a certain type of conventional tomato, for example, compared against a different type of organic tomato,grown in a vastly different geographic area in vastly different soils and climate. There are dozens, or evenhundreds of complications with these types of studies, which is why you can't always make directcomparisons.However, I think with the evidence we talked about in terms of soil quality, nutrient uptake, and also just thepure fact that we don't want carcinogenic and estrogenic chemicals in our food, it makes it worth it to try tobuy organic as much as possible.