TreeHugger Picks: Organic Food is Better

Organic food is usually more expensive than its conventional counterparts, so, are you getting more for your money? We think so; check out some of our picks explaining the benefits of eating organic.


1) First of all, what goes in (and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn't go in) to organic food? Get the scoop on what it means to be organic (and how your food gets the seal of approval) in our Green Basics column about organic food. If "7 C.F.R. Part 205" doesn't mean anything to you, or you're looking for the finer points of avoiding chemical preservatives (and figuring out how the government is involved in your food), this is the place to figure it out.
2) Now that we've established what organic food is, what does an organic diet do for you? Is it healthier? What are you consuming (and not consuming) by eating organic? We sort it all out in this "Ask TreeHugger" column; the short answer is: Yes, organic food is more healthy than conventionally grown food. A growing number of scientific studies have shown that exposures to even small amounts of pesticides are harmful, especially to young children, but that certainly isn't the whole story.
3) You don't have to take our word for it, though; after £12M and four years of study, it has been announced that organic fruit, vegetables and milk are more nutritious than those that are non-organically produced. Researchers on the European Union study found that "the health benefits were so striking that moving to organic food was the equivalent of eating an extra portion of fruit and vegetables every day." Two more picks, below the fold.

4) Moo on this: further research has shown that, among other benefits, organic milk has 68% more omega 3 fatty acids -- the good ones that have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. In addition, two British universities have looked at milk from 36 farms over a three year period, finding that the omega 3 content went up significantly when cows ate fresh, juicy grass in the great outdoors.
5) Further proof comes from researchers at the University of California in Davis, who grew two batches of kiwifruit; one organically and the other conventionally with the attendant cocktail of herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizer. They then compared the two: the organic ones showed 18% more polyphenols and 27% more antioxidant activity. The study "suggests that the organic plants, thrown onto their own defenses against disease and predators, are more 'stressed' and therefore produce more of these beneficial compounds." Bon appetit!

Tags: Organic Agriculture | TreeHugger Picks

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