Does the organic certification always mean a better product? Organic: What does that word mean to you and your produce choices?
To be given the organic seal of approval, the produce must be grown or reared under strict regulations that mean that the end product is as pure as it can be, as it grew, in the most natural state possible.
The question still remains, however, of “Is organic food healthier?”
Organic classifications of produce, such as meat, fruit, and vegetables, or even milk, have come under close scrutiny in recent years.
It is essential to know that while organic food IS usually the better option when choosing your produce, there can be some elements of something being organic that don’t quite tick every box.
So, under what circumstances is organic better, and in which ways is it not?
Does Organic Always Mean Healthier?
Let’s consider when organic food is healthier, and when it might not actually be the healthier option:
When is Organic the Healthy Option?
I guess this comes down to what you personally consider healthy. Some people might consider foods with the most vitamins and minerals healthy. In contrast, others think that eating the least amount of calories possible in a day is also healthy! The latter is certainly not beneficial.
The question of health is all about perception.
When we think about what healthy means, we often consider that healthy means the food that will do us a power of good but also the least harm, both in the short and long term.
Organic produce is grown and raised in such a way that there are no artificial interventions, such as GMOs, pesticides, or antibiotics.
This ensures that when the food comes out the other side for consumers, it is as pure as possible. Hence, I’m sure you will agree that organic food is indeed healthier with this being the case.
When is Organic NOT the Healthy Option?
While we consider organic food healthy in the above statement, we now turn to organic unhealthiness!
We consider organic to be good for us, but in the proper doses, much like every other food on the planet, too much of a good thing can be bad!
Our psychology tells us that organic is good, right?
So if we place this theory into an organic brownie, for example, we can instantly see that although organically derived and certified, an organic brownie would not be a healthy option, regardless of its organic label!
Regardless of whether your food is organic or not, it still has fat and calorific content, so the aim is to be mindful of your organic food choices, as claiming that you eat organic sweet treats every day is not ever going to scream that your version of organic is a healthy one!
Does Organic Food Have Higher Levels Of Vitamins And Minerals?
Unfortunately, it seems as though there may not be much difference overall compared to regular, non-organic food.
A study on the nutritional quality of organic foods found that there were little to no dietary advantages to organically raised or grown food versus an equivalent product that has not been developed or raised under organic conditions.
So if you are looking to have the best nutritional content from the food you consume, there may not be any immediate advantage to thinking that organic food can give you a bigger healthy hit of your essential vitamins and minerals because this may not be the case.
Seemingly, a cucumber will have similar, if not the same, nutritional content as the next cucumber, organically grown or not!
However, the advantage that an organic cucumber will have is that it is guaranteed to have nothing nasty added to it.
Healthy Organic Choices
With the contestation of what is considered “healthy,” the rules are almost the same with organic food as with regular food, believe it or not!
Healthy food choices are those choices that are conducive to a healthy body and mind, so when we put that theory in practice, whether something is healthy or not is actually in the food product itself as opposed to the classification of the food status.
However, we can confidently say that organic produce has the edge when it comes to being healthier than regular food, simply because it has nothing artificial added to it, such as:
- Growth hormones
- Added salts/sugars
- Added water
So when it comes to healthier food options, organic may be a better overall choice for the specifically health-conscious, as there is the guarantee that organic food will not contain any of the items on the forbidden list that allows it to carry the organic label.
The Organic Bottom Line
The main advantage that organic food has when it comes to being the healthier choice is that organic food is guaranteed to not contain any elements that organic food certification bans, such as pesticides and GMOs.
Organic food may not have any notable advantage in nutritional value over non-organic produce; however, you can be confident that no added nasties are being consumed with your vitamins and minerals!
Healthy food choices are actually more about the actual foods you choose, and not necessarily the classification of the food itself….we can say that a chocolate brownie is entirely organic. Still, it isn’t a completely healthy choice!
This is a common misconception that people have when linking organic to healthy.
Your food choices are the overall key to a healthy diet, not necessarily the classification of that food.
Organic produce has the advantage of being free from any additives and preservatives, as well as so many more things we probably shouldn’t be consuming.
So organic food may be the healthiest option if you are mindful of the unnecessary things we have in our food and trying to eradicate them.