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Over the years we have been made to believe that eating organic food is healthier than conventional food. Does that mean organic food is more nutritious than conventional food? Let’s find out!!
Organic foods are foods that are produced using natural farming processes and techniques. Organic food is produced without any use of pesticides, herbicides, inorganic fertilisers and animals do not receive any antibiotics, animal by-products or growth hormones. Organic food is more costly because these natural farming techniques are more expensive than the conventional ones.
The notion that organic food is healthier indeed has some merit. There is not much difference between organic and conventional food products in terms of macro nutritional value (protein, fat, carbohydrate and dietary fibre), but there are few other compositional differences mentioned below which have been observed and might be beneficial.
However, these differences are of marginal nutritional significance. The above potential benefits of organic foods may reduce the risk of allergic disease and of overweight and obesity, but the evidence is not conclusive enough as consumers of organic food mostly tend to have healthier lifestyles overall.
The answer is ‘Not always!’.
Just because a product is labelled ‘organic’, it does not mean that it is also nutrient dense. Even though they are a better option compared to the non-organic counter parts. Some of these products are still highly processed foods which are high in calories, added sugar, salt, and added fats. For example, items such as organic cookies, chips and ice cream despite being organic, these products may still be quite low in nutrients.
When making the choice of what to eat, first know your nutritional requirements and accordingly choose the foods as per the macro nutrient (carbohydrate, protein, fats, dietary fibre) and micro nutrient (minerals and vitamins) content of the food, rather than on the basis of organic versus conventional.