Is organic that much better?

The new blog is going up today! As the change happens, things may be a little funky for the next couple of days. Thank you for hanging in there with me and hope you love the new look <3

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It was an amazing long weekend.

A trip to the Children’s Museum,

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BBQing with friends,

and just enjoying time with the fam.

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Over the weekend, I don’t tend to watch much of the news channels since I work on Saturday and we’re laying low on Sunday.

Every Monday morning (Tuesday = Monday this week), I like to catch up on what’s going on.

The latest: a new Stanford study indicating that buying organic has no health advantage over purchasing conventional foods.

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Come again?

I listened to the news recap of the study and then read a little more about it online.  This ruffled my feathers a little, since I’m a huge advocate for organic foods, and it seems like the media is often trying to dissuade consumers from purchasing organic over conventional. 

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Some interesting facts from the study:

-The study was not financed by an outside source or company, which is important to me because I feel like studies are often biased.

-The conventional fruits and vegetables that were previously sprayed with pesticides and chemicals were still found to be within “safe limits.” What exactly are safe limits? The FDA allows a lot of processed foods to have “safe amounts” of disgusting defects (only click the link if breakfast happened a long time ago and you want to be sufficiently grossed out)

-While many of the fruits and vegetables didn’t indicate significant differences in nutrients, organic chicken and eggs contained higher levels of omega 3s and phosphorous (which is easy for us to get enough within our diets, but still notable). Organic meat products were also less likely to contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria

-Ripeness has a huge impact on nutrient density, so it was more difficult to compare fruits and veggies of exact ripeness

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-While the nutrition of organic vs. conventional proves to be similar, chemicals, pesticides and sustainability are more of a concern for me. I like to vote with my shopping cart, and by purchasing organic, it’s my way of saying that I prefer foods that haven’t been liberally sprayed with chemicals and those that have been produced with sustainable farming practices.

When it comes to buying organic, don’t feel like it has to be all or nothing. I purchase the dirty dozen in certified organic, and Liv only gets organic fruits and veggies when she’s at home, since the effects of pesticides on children haven’t been thoroughly studied.

Organic products can be expensive, and if someone wants to make fresh produce a part of their lifestyle, buying conventional is 1000x better than not buying fruits or veggies at all. It’s also a great option to pick up frozen organic fruits and veggies (which are sometimes less expensive) or hit up local farmer’s markets for better deals (and to support local farmers!).

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What do you think about the study? Is buying organic important to you?

Hope you have a great day and I’ll see ya later <3

xoxo

Gina

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73 Comments

  1. Paige @ Your Trainer Paige on September 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I, too, immediately looked to see who funded the study! I figured some big ag company did, but I found the same thing as you did. Surprised me a little!
    Love the new look, Gina 🙂

  2. Kristen on September 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Honestly, what’s in/on our food organic or not scares the hell out of me, especially now that I have a kid to worry about. I know for a fact that some (not all) certified organic farms do not abide guidelines. I guess the only real way to know what we’re eating is to grow our own produce and animals and that’s just not practical for many of us. So I buy local and organic when possible, wash all of my produce thoroughly, and say a prayer that my family remains healthy and happy. I do the best I can and that’s all I can do.

    I’m excited for your blog makeover!!!

  3. Emily on September 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    There was never any doubt in my mind that organic produce did not provide any more nutrients than non-organic. Although that does not put the mind at ease when considering health problems related to pesticides, it is still a notable finding. MOST pesticides are only skin deep (depends mostly on the produce), so if you’re truly concerned, removing the skin is a good approach. I do not buy organic, mostly due to my current financial situation, but even if I had the ability to, I would only be concerned with the Dirty Dozen. Why people buy organic bananas is beyond me.

    • Cassie @ CassieRanae.com on September 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      To support organic foods producers! 🙂 If something’s available in organic, I almost always go with that option. It *is* more expensive, but I feel good putting that money toward supporting something I feel strongly about, and I save in other areas of life.

      To each her own, of course!

      • Kristi @ Hiding in Honduras on September 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

        Also, to support farming practices that don’t put workers at risk! During the two years I lived in Honduras (the real Banana Republic) there was a major news story covering a lawsuit filed by laborers against the big banana companies. The laborers alleged that exposure to pesticides while spraying the plants caused infertility. Unlike other products which may be prone to pests, banana plants literally grow like weeds in the forest. The most delicious bananas I’ve ever had were hacked down with a machete in the middle of nowhere. The use of pesticides is to create visually perfect bananas for US consumers – but at what cost to the 3rd world laborers?!

  4. Kate on September 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    An interesting thing to add — I listen to Jillian MIchaels’ blog semi-regularly, and recently she was talking about buying organic. She mentioned that it is REALLY expensive to get officially “certified” organic, so some local farmers just can’t afford the certification. Because of that, it’s worthwhile to ask vendors at farmers markets whether or not they use any pesticides…..a lot of them don’t, but they just can’t afford the official organic label! This isn’t something you can do at the grocery store, but it’s worth asking at farmers markets!

  5. Irina @ Chocolatea Time on September 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I read this the other day too and wasn’t too surprised. I personally buy organic to avoid nasty pesticides, herbicides, and other additives regardless of the “fact” that they are “safe” in small quantities.

    Love the new blog layout!!

  6. amanda on September 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I buy organic when I can, but cost really is an issue for my family, and like many others who have commented, Im pretty skeptical about labels alone. I agree with others that it is super important to by local and participate in CSAs. In Tucson we have one called Bountiful Baskets, I cant remember if youve used it or not? The price is great and there is an organic option, but I trust the local farmers enough to just buy the normal basket. One thing I am absoluetly strict about is milk. We only buy organic milk because it is just o scary how many antibiotics and hormones are found in regular. Interesting topic!

  7. Julie on September 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I buy the foods I eat most organically like apples, which are most affected by pesticides. Everything else is usually okay.

  8. Yvette on September 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I am also mindful of what is in the soil. I’d rather eat fertilizer-free (chemical -free) foods when possible. I am not surprised that that organic foods aren’t more nutritious. Well ok maybe I am a bit.

    I guess I think more about whether produce is fully ripened when picked or if it is picked prematurely and then artificially ripened as well as how far it has traveled.

    Organic foods can be picked unripened and shipped from places like Chile. I try to avoid this scenario. Farmer’s markets offer fresh-picked, ripe foods that are often chemical-free.

  9. Kia on September 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you Gina for breaking down the study. When I heard the report discussed on the news the other morning I was a little disappointed about the findings in terms of nutritional advantage. The report I saw did not mention the difference for eggs and chicken. I recently just started to buy organic fruits and vegetables and I think I will continue for all the other reasons you discussed.

    Love the new look by the way.

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