Eating organic is delicious, but not necessarily more nutritious

When food is labeled organic, it refers to the process of how farmers grow and process agricultural products. Whether they are fruits, vegetables, meats, grains or dairy products, the organic farming process excludes the use of pesticides, hormones, food additives and other unnatural substances.

People are absolutely obsessed with the idea of organic food these days.  They shop at specialty supermarkets and attend weekly farmer’s markets to purchase the food that they are told is better for their body, just for a slightly higher price. But is organic food living up to all its nutritional hype? The answer is no, not really.

Sorry organic food advocates, conventional foods are just as nutritious as the organic counterpart.  Researchers from Stanford analyzed data from 17 different studies in humans and more than 200 studies of the levels of nutrients and contaminants in foods. The conclusion? There were no significant differences in nutritional value, allergic reactions or foodborne illnesses between organic and nonorganic foods.

The study reassured all of us “regular food” consumers that although pesticide and hormone levels are significantly lower in organically grown foods, they are still so low in traditionally grown foods that it shouldn’t have a negative health impact.

Another problem? More than once, many like to think “USDA Organic” labeled foods are not actually organic. They’re right. The USDA keeps a National List of foods that are conventionally grown or raised that are allowed to be labeled as organic products.

Casings of organically labeled sausages can be from conventionally raised cows that are fed hormones; because majority of the sausage is actually organic it is considered “organic.” It defeats the purpose and morals of purchasing an organic product. We might as well just go all out and buy the cheaper, conventional product.

Organic food is indefinitely more expensive to purchase than conventional food. When shopping for groceries, it is not worth paying twice as much for the organic spinach if the rest of your shopping list is not organic as well.

Everyone wants to ingest the highest quality of food possible but the bill associated with organic groceries exceeds the benefits the food has to offer. According to the USDA, people who buy organic increase their grocery spending by $11-$45 per month. That’s up to $539 more a year.

The annual spending on organic products can be saved or spent on other things that are directly more important whether it be charity, retirement or college expenses. If the nutritional benefits aren’t astounding, why waste the money?

Sure, purchasing and consuming something labeled organic might make you feel better about yourself but it can feel worse knowing that same expensive “organic” product is not actually 100 percent organic.

 There are many benefits of eating organic foods, such as the positive environmental impact and better treatment on animals but from the perspective of nutritional value, it is just not worth the ridiculous prices.