The differences between organic and non-organic produce are a very hot topic these days.
If you have followed Ethical Foodie, or indeed any other food-based news, you will know by now that organic food is classified as those foods that are produced without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetic modification, or anything else artificial.
Anything that can be certified as organic is grown in naturally fertile soil and allowed to grow in its own natural environment without outside and chemical interference.
Organic farming offers sustainable practices that can help preserve our planet’s resources and ensure a healthier future for generations to come.
There are, however, still questions about what you should do if you’re considering going organic with your butternut squash.
Many people believe that organic food is better for you, and this is true to a certain extent. But with the cost of organic foods being so high, it’s hard for consumers to afford these products, especially after such a turbulent 2 years.
So what does all this mean for you and your butternut squash? Does it absolutely need to be organic, or is it one of those products that are safe, regardless of how it’s grown?
Let’s have a look!
What Does Non-Organic Butternut Squash Actually Entail?
To make the most informed choice of whether your butternut squash is better for you when it’s organic, we need to look more into what non-organic actually entails!
Non-organic food is produced on farms that may use synthetic fertilisers as well as seeds that are genetically modified (GMO), which are altered to grow faster or resist pests and disease.
Pesticides may also be used on non-organic farms.
Non-organic produce is more likely to contain additives such as ethoxyquin and sulfur dioxide, which are usually less harmful than their synthetic counterparts but still shouldn’t be consumed by humans in large quantities.
That being said, if you have ever seen, handled, and tried to cut into a butternut squash (which is a workout entirely on its own!), you will notice that these amazing orange entities have a very hard outer layer, which can be incredibly tough!
So if I cant get a knife through one, how can the pesticides get through the tough outer layer of the butternut squash to leave potentially harmful residues on the flesh that we eat?
Can Pesticides Get Through the Outer Layer of a Butternut Squash?
So, every year, the PAN UK “Dirty Dozen” list is produced outlining the pesticides that can be found within specific non-organic foods. The humble butternut squash was not featured as “produce of concern” on the last report, nor was it featured in the US equivalent ist.
This begs the question of whether it is necessary to have an organic butternut squash if there is no (or very little) concern over pesticide residue remaining in non-organically grown varieties.
It’s not really necessary from a personal health point of view to have organic butternut squash on your plate, simply because any pesticides or insecticides that have been used to keep it disease-free in the growing process cannot leave their residue easily on the flesh of the butternut squash.
The husk actually does a really good job of protecting the flesh inside from contamination, so while there may be residue on the outside of the squash, its protective barrier has effectively done its job perfectly to the delicate and yummy flesh inside.
Is It Worth Buying Organic Butternut Squash?
Simply put, no!
Organic food is a hot commodity nowadays, but the price tag is often too high for the average person. In the grand scheme of fresh produce, butternut squash can be considered a little bit of a luxury item!
Buying organic means spending more on your food. Authentic organic foods can be notoriously hard to find that fit within household budgets.
Sometimes, it’s best to go with a little bit of common sense when it comes to organic food in regards to whether it gives you the best benefits overall or not.
Organic butternut squash is one of those foods that might not be worth the organic hype.
Are There Health Benefits to Buying Organic Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is a low-calorie, high-fibre winter squash with essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to work optimally.
It also has disease-fighting antioxidants that can help improve your overall health, so it is an excellent addition to your dishes!
Butternut Squash is versatile as it can be added to sweet or savoury dishes easily without compromising the nutritional value of either dish.
And nutritional value is one of the most important things we need to look at in food to ensure it is the best thing to be consuming.
To that end, as far as the research has found to compile this blog, there appear to be no notable nutritional differences between organic and conventionally grown butternut squash.
Yet another reason to save your money and stick with a regular squash!
The Final Line
In reality, the cost of organic foods is a challenge for many consumers.
And some argue that these products overall are not necessarily healthier than conventionally-grown ones.
Despite this, there are still those people who believe in and advocate for the use of organically-grown fruits and vegetables to maintain good health, and to a certain extent, this can be seen working in practice on a daily basis!
One of the most important factors to consider for food is its nutritional value.
In this case, that means looking into the nutritional content of foods. As far as research has found, it appears there are no differences between organic and conventionally grown butternut squash.
In the case of the butternut squash: it’s one of those safe products no matter how you grow it!