Is it really worth it to buy organic?

Do you think that choosing organic is better for your health? If yes then I am definitely with you, I buy organic as much as possible, for many reasons. I will explain a few reasons in a moment, but before I do let’s talk about why some people think that it’s not necessary to consume organic produce.

I was recently chatting with a friend about buying organic, and whether it’s really worth paying more. We all know that the world is a lot different today than during our grandparent’s time — the soil, air and water quality have all changed. How sad it is, by the way, that we even need to classify food as “organic” or “non-organic” today?

So his argument was that the soil is the same, and even in organically grown food you’ll find lots of pesticides. Unfortunately, this is a true statement.

However, the fact is that buying organic produce is still our best shot at getting the healthiest, most nutritious version of the food, and at least they’re not using chemical pesticides to spray the produce. And, most importantly, it’s not genetically modified.

Are you aware that more than 50 percent of the population have some type of digestive or allergy problem? I firmly believe that this is coming from what we choose to eat.

Yes, many studies show that GMO foods are not damaging human health, but many more studies have shown that especially glyphosate (the main ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp) is a possible carcinogen.

So instead of following research and studies, how about we just study our own body for a moment? I want to feel good and nourished after eating, and not have to deal with health complications that can come from non-organic, genetically modified and pesticide-grown food. If we carefully study and pay attention to our own body, the answer becomes clear.

Now, actually a new study did just come out showing that if you are consuming organic food, you are less likely to become overweight or obese. Think about this for a second, what could be the real reason for this?

First, you are not getting toxins from organically grown food, so you are most likely helping your body in it’s own detoxification process. And second, organically grown food has a higher nutrient content than non-organic food. That means that you are nourishing your body, and this can lead you to consuming less food too. Remember, the body needs nutrients to maintain normal function.

Unfortunately, not enough studies have looked at the effects of organic vs. non-organic food on human health. They often indicate that organic food may reduce the risk of allergic disease and obesity, and some other health conditions, but this evidence is often not conclusive.

Consumers of organic food do tend to have healthier dietary patterns overall, so this can lead to an overall improvement in health with a decrease in allergies, improved digestion, and a potential beneficial effect on overweight and obesity. Conventional and GMO food have pesticide residues that remain in the food even after it’s washed, while organic foods are grown without pesticides. Also, remember the possible health advantage for organic farming and the farmers.

The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) have collected a huge volume of resources after their detailed studies, and they list produce with the highest pesticide levels as well as those with the lowest levels. I’ve mentioned them before in many of my previous articles, but if you’ve not visited their website then please do check it out.

So coming back to my first question: yes, I believe it is definitely worth buying organic produce as much as possible. It’s most important just to realize that when you consume healthier and non-pesticide food, you will have more energy and feel much more healthier. I think we all want to be healthy.

Remember, as always you are the food that you eat — you are what you put in your body and what your body absorbs — so choose wisely now, rather than paying back later with medical costs or with your life.

•••

Ayda Ersoy is a nutrition and fitness director at The Diet Doc Hawaii. She can be reached at DietDocHawaii.com, Ayda@DietDocHawaii.com or (808) 276-6892

8 Comments
  1. Amused March 7, 2018 4:25 am Reply

    More unscientific dribble from Ayda. Actually ALL studies show that GMOs have NO impact on human health. I challenge her to present a credible study that shows glyphosate is harming human health. She won’t be able to find one. Furthermore, only like 2% of all produce has pesticide residue, so it doesn’t matter if you eat organic or conventional — your exposure to pesticides is minimal.


  2. Amused March 7, 2018 4:26 am Reply

    Also, organic foods are indeed grown with pesticides. There’s a whole long list of pesticides approved for use on organic. That is one of the biggest myths out there, that organic doesn’t use pesticide. Please educate yourself, Ayda, and stop spreading misinformation.


  3. MisterM March 7, 2018 8:18 am Reply

    “And, most importantly, it’s not genetically modified.”

    What are you blathering about? All crops are genetically modified one way or another.


  4. manawai March 7, 2018 10:55 am Reply

    Organic Pesticides and Herbicides that are supported by the Organic food industry:

    Synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production.
    Algicide, disinfectants, and sanitizer, including irrigation system cleaning systems
    Alcohols
    Ethanol
    Isopropanol
    Calcium hypochlorite
    Chlorine dioxide
    Sodium hypochlorite
    Copper sulfate
    Hydrogen peroxide
    Ozone gas
    Peracetic acid
    Soap-based algicide/demossers
    Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate
    Herbicides, soap-based
    Mulches:
    Newspaper or other recycled paper, without glossy or colored inks.
    Plastic mulch and covers
    Ammonium carbonate
    Aqueous potassium silicate
    Boric acid
    Copper sulfate
    Elemental sulfur
    Lime sulfur—including calcium polysulfide
    Sucrose octanoate esters
    Pheromones.
    Ferric phosphate
    Aqueous potassium silicate
    Coppers, fixed—copper hydroxide, copper oxide, copper oxychloride, includes products exempted from EPA tolerance.
    Copper sulfate—Substance must be used in a manner that minimizes accumulation of copper in the soil.
    Hydrated lime
    Hydrogen peroxide
    Lime sulfur
    Peracetic acid
    Potassium bicarbonate
    Elemental sulfur
    Potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide; solvents
    Humic acids
    Lignin sulfonate
    Magnesium sulfate
    Micronutrients
    Soluble boron products
    Sulfates, carbonates, oxides, or silicates of zinc, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and cobalt
    Liquid fish products
    Sulfurous acid
    Ethylene gas
    Sodium silicate
    Hydrogen chloride
    Microcrystalline
    [65 FR 80637, Dec. 21, 2000, as amended at 68 FR 61992, Oct. 31, 2003; 71 FR 53302 Sept. 11, 2006; 72 FR 69572, Dec. 10, 2007; 75 FR 38696, July 6, 2010; 75 FR 77524, Dec. 13, 2010; 77 FR 8092, Feb. 14, 2012; 77 FR 33298, June 6, 2012; 77 FR 45907, Aug. 2, 2012; 78 FR 31821, May 28, 2013; 79 FR 58663, Sept. 30, 2014; 80 FR 77234, Dec. 14, 2015; 82 FR 31243, July 6, 2017]


  5. Dawg2000 March 7, 2018 12:51 pm Reply

    People that eat organic food tend to be less obese because they tend to make healthier choices overall, its got nothing to do with being organic or these toxins that always go unnamed.


  6. Charlie chimknee March 7, 2018 1:00 pm Reply

    Aloha Aida, thank you for this article it is inspiring to motivate us to the use of natural food; I held of info saying ORGANIC.

    Can I challenge a little of what you say. When you ask the health food store people who order the incoming food, they speak back to you with specificity and confidence; they will tell you that ORGANIC means that at least 65%c of that food is organic. Meaning that the 35% can be contaminated with GMO or Poison, or whatever else is on that long list written above here i comments.

    I’ve never been brainwashed to believe that poison is OK. Seems that the younger generations nowadays or the lower educated have been made to think that poison is just alright by them. “Well, a little can’t hurt ya…!” Really…? How about slow accumulation over time, that poison has been proven to kill people via diseases such as cancers, or just plain old poisoning, something that has been around a long time.

    Poison is a lot like WAR, they both kill, and both have been used so commonly since WWII THAT they have BECOME AN ACEPTABLE NORM, for those that would swallow any pill or gov’t claimed enemy.

    Medicinal and street drugs have become so common place they are acceptable, and instead of coming up with the PREVENTION of their use, we now have more and more treatments for all of their side effects.

    Poison for agriculture is so acceptable we have one of their purveyors on the County Council.

    And when your loved one or self finally shows the symptoms of cancer there is a cancer center waiting to speed you through the process…but apparently it is not towards recovery is it…? Not if statistics are correct.

    Mahalo,

    Charles


  7. truth be known March 7, 2018 5:30 pm Reply

    A challenge to “Amused”. If you think that glyphosate is harmless to humans, please “amuse” us by publicly drinking a glass of Roundup to demonstrate to us dumb uneducated health nuts why we shouldn’t be worried. I will be happy to provide the glass and the Roundup.


  8. Surprised May 14, 2018 12:59 pm Reply

    I am very surprised with the misinformation still going around in regards to organic. I do indeed buy some organic for a variety of reasons. Some important points… (1) I am not aware of any studies that have shown organic is more nutritionally dense or more healthful. Please, please, please if the author has references to these articles I would love you to post them here. References should always be posted with your article otherwise your writing is just an opinion. (2) At this time, studies are limited and a big reason to buy organic is environmental. Organic growing can use a variety of conventional pesticides, however this is a much smaller list than non-organically grown food to my knowledge. So buy organic if you want to reduce the impact on the environment. (3) I buy organic foods on the “dirty dozen” list because of the “potential” health harms. Just because there are no studies does not mean there is no harm. It more likely means there is not money for the studies. The foods on the dirty dozen list are typically eaten with the skin that are exposed to the pesticides. So buy organic if you believe non-organic chemicals ARE harmful and the studies will eventually show this. There are many cases where the studies were very far behind the trends. (4) I buy organic because I do not want to eat GMO regardless of the current studies. See my previous point. The GMO companies have way more money to spend on studies than the non-GMO movement at this time. My qualificationa are that I care about what I put in my mouth and so I do my own research.

    One last point. I laughed at this comment. “a new study did just come out showing that if you are consuming organic food, you are less likely to become overweight or obese. […] you are not getting toxins from organically grown food, so you are most likely helping your body in it’s own detoxification process.” Wow, once again show me the study! I think people that don’t care about organic or their own health will eat processed and junk food and maybe this is why they are overweight. There is no organic “Big Mac”. Although I personally choose organic in some situations, articles like this with misinformation, and total lack of references are really not helping the situation.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.