With all the nutritional and dieting advice out there, it's easy to forget that science doesn't always agree with popular trends. We often take common knowledge for granted, assuming that just because something is repeated constantly, that means it is true. Take for example "organic" food. Some people only eat food labeled as organic because it's believed to be healthier than the alternative. Let's take a look at what science says to see if that is actually true.
What is 'Organic' Food?
Organic food is basically anything food that is made without synthetic pesticides being used during production. This does not mean that NO pesticides are used, just a much more regulated list maintained by the FDA. For something to be labeled and sold as 'organic' it must have 95% organic ingredients. As explained in the ASAPScience video above, there are also other caveats and tricks food sellers use to be able to put the word 'organic' on a label and entice health conscious shoppers.
This requires farmers to put in much more work to grow these crops. It also means that they tend to lose a lot more in production from bugs infestations and other issues. Not too mention it usually costs consumers more. This also means that not all food producers are excited about growing these crops, but the market is there because people like us demand high-quality, healthy food. The presumption with organics is that without the extra chemicals, your food is healthier and safer to consume. But is that actually true?
Is It Really Healthier?
The answer, like so many other things in food science, is that it depends. Just because organics don't have certain pesticides doesn't mean they're good for your. Organic foods, like non-organics have been recalled many times for production issues and causing illness in consumers. Methods vary from farm to farm, which means that all organics are not created equal.
In addition to that, just because pesticides are used in non-organics, doesn't mean they are unsafe to consume or will cause health issues. It really depends on who is producing it.
The Bottom Line
Chemicals are not inherently bad, especially when they have been studied and tested. HOWEVER, it is reasonable to want what you eat to have as few harmful chemicals and additives as possible when you are building a healthy lifestyle.
What can you do? Find a balance between eating food from trusted local sources and do your research do see if what you are eating could be harmful to you. Combine those efforts with other healthy lifestyle choices and exercise regularly. Stay away from every food trend until and fad diet until you know what they are all about. Also, make sure to occasionally question your assumptions. Stay woke people.