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Kaitlyn Webb
FOS 2001
Section 6
October 11, 2015

Organic vs. Conventional Foods

While roaming the aisles of the local grocery store, you come across JIF® peanut
butter. There are so many options to choose from including a regular version and an
organic version. Because you are trying to avoid the infamous “freshman 15,” you want
to make the healthy choice. Often times, organic foods are advertised as the greener
option, so naturally, your eye is drawn to the “organic” label as the smarter choice. But
which is really the “healthier choice?” According to FamilyDoctor.org and Mayo Clinic,
it is difficult to distinguish a significant difference in nutrition, but the way in which the
food is processed makes it the better choice to add to your grocery cart.
Organic products are becoming increasingly more popular in supermarket stores
today. But, in order to truly determine whether organic is better, we need to clear some
things up. When people think of “organic”, more often than not, they think it means more
rich in nutrients. Although nutrients are an important factor, the term “organic,” a label
created by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), refers more to a product
that has “been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and
mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and
conserve biodiversity.” (Today’s Dietician) Organic foods must not only be produced in a
pesticide, irradiation, and sewage free environment, but also must not be a product of
genetic engineering. In other words, “organic” is not only about the nutrients of a
product, but it is also about how the crops are grown. Though doctors cannot pinpoint the
exact problems artificial fertilizers and other hormones used in non-organic farming
cause, consuming organic food has been known to lessen the risk of possible health
problems.
Additionally, when comparing Nutrition Labels, some organic foods will have the
same nutritional value as their non-organic counterparts, while others have higher
nutritional value. (FamilyDoctor) It is difficult to say if organic food is truly more
nutritious. A recent study examined “50 years worth” of articles that discussed the
nutritional aspect of organic food versus conventional food. They found that the nutrition
content was actually relatively similar, or at least did not have a significant difference.
(Mayo Clinic) While this is true, some fruits and vegetables do have a higher mineral
content due to the way in which they are farmed. Also, organic foods tend to have a
better and more natural taste not only due to the lack of pesticides and hormones used
during processing but also because often times the organic foods come from local
farmers, resulting in greater freshness.
Although organic food can sometimes costs a pretty penny, it is worth it. “The
organic label means natural farming and processing practices, and is not a guarantee of
nutritional content or value.” (FamilyDoctor) Unfortunately, there is no magical food that
will relieve you of all your potential health problems and ailments. However, when
considering the way in which your food is processed or grown, nutritional value, and
taste holistically, organic products are the healthier choice.
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BIBLIOGRAPHY

MAIN ARTICLE USED:


FamilyDoctor Editorial Staff. "Organic Foods: What You Need to Know." Organic Foods: What
You Need to Know. Nature Made, FamilyDoctor, Sept. 2011. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
<http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/food-nutrition/healthy-food-
choices/organic-foods-what-you-need-to-know.html>.

EXTRA SOURCES:
Mayo Clinic Staff. "Nutrition and Healthy Eating." Organic Foods: Are They Safer? More
Nutritious? Mayo Clinic, 9 June 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
<http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-
food/art-20043880?pg=1>.

Thalheimer, Judith. "The Organic Foods Debate - Are They Healthier Than Conventional?" The
Organic Foods Debate - Are They Healthier Than Conventional? Today's Dietician, July 2013.
Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/070113p28.shtml>.