Organic Does Not Mean Pesticide Free

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Are you worried about pesticides in your food? This infographic compares organic and conventional foods. Below you will find more information on this topic.

Organic does not mean pesticide free
Organic does not mean pesticide free

Nutrition Differences?

Most research shows there are no major nutrition differences between organic and conventional food (1). So you can feel good knowing you are getting the same amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber in comparable products.

Organic dairy products contain significantly higher protein, ALA, total omega-3 fatty acids than conventional dairy (2). Even though these differences are statistically significant, they don’t make much of an impact on your diet. Both aren’t great sources of ALA compared to walnuts, flaxseeds, chia and hemp.

Labeling Terms:

There are different labeling terms that will tell you more about the ingredients in the food, drink or supplement you are buying (by percent).

500px-USDA_organic_seal.svg

100% organic

– All ingredients must be certified organic
– Any processing aids must be organic
– The label must state the name of the person who certified it
– Must be made without GMOs, sewage sludge, irradiation, synthetic (man-made) fertilizers

95% Organic
– Must contain at least 95% organic ingredients
– Label must state the name of the person who certified it
– All non-organic ingredients are on the National List
– Must be made without GMOs, sewage sludge, irradiation, synthetic (man-made) fertilizers

Organic
– Must contain at least 70% certified organic ingredients (not including salt or water)
– Must be made without GMOs, sewage sludge, irradiation, synthetic (man-made) fertilizers
– All other ingredients are on the National List
– Label must state the name of the person who certified it

Are you a researcher or farmer? USDA spent $113 million to support research and farming of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops.

References:
1 Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90(3):680-5.
2 J Sci Food Agric 2012;92(14):2774-81.

Organic = more antioxidants

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A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the antioxidant capacity of Golden Delicious apples may be higher in organically grown vs. conventionally grown apples. The scientists looked at apples grown over a 3-year time period and found that in two years, 2005 and 2006, the organic apples had up to 15% greater antioxidant capacity then the conventional apples. The polyphenol content of the organic apples was also higher in 2005 (but not 2004 and 2006). Though it seems that organic won the antioxidant test, the yearly climate had an even greater impact on antioxidant capacity.

The results aren’t terribly surprising as other studies have found that organic produce can trump convention produce. Why? Antioxidants serve a purpose in produce – they fight pests. So, aside from avoiding pesticides and herbicides, you may also stand to gain more antioxidants from organic produce.