Have you ever stood in the supermarket wondering whether you should pay the extra dollars for organic produce over the non-organic? Or maybe you’re a person who doesn’t question and only buys organic. However you approach your shopping, wouldn’t it be great to understand if organic food really is better for you?

Is it healthier?

It’s difficult to get a definitive answer on whether organic foods are scientifically proven to be better for you. Some studies, including this one conducted in 2014, found that organic fruits had higher levels of antioxidants compared to their non-organic counterparts. But there doesn’t seem to have been any significant research conducted.

The ABC report on organic produce quoted Tim Crowe, a nutrition scientist at Bond University, who states that there’s no definitive research to prove organic food is more nutritious than conventionally farmed produce, given the variation in climate, soil and processing conditions.

In the same ABC report Dr Liza Oates, who teaches Food as Medicine at RMIT, says sometimes organic produce does have a better nutritional profile. Although this can’t be said for all foods. She also goes on to say that it could be where the produce is purchased that makes it more nutritious as they tend to be bought closer to the source. This means it’s less likely to have been in cold storage for long periods of time as it would have been harvested more recently – which does have an impact on the nutritional value.

How about those pesticides?

Conventional farming methods use synthetic pesticides which can be absorbed into the body. However, there are clear chemical residual limits set by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand which are well below levels that they deem could be a threat to health and safety.

If you’re looking to reduce or remove synthetic pesticides from your lifestyle, genuine organic crops are grown completely pesticide-free.

Are they better for the environment?

This could be seen as a catch-22. Yes, organic farming is better for the environment as the process doesn’t use water-soluble nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser – both of which have significant impact on the environment. However, due to relying on a more natural growing process, the volumes are lower and therefore the producers require more land.

Is the extra cost worth it?

In general, organic produce does cost a little more than non-organic because there are more costs involved which in the end, need to be passed on the consumer. However, a lot of health food providers do try to make organic produce available to everyone by keeping the costs as reasonable as possible.

Does it taste better?

The less the natural process is interfered with, the better the food is going to taste. Organic fruits and vegetables are generally sourced locally and are therefore fresher (most having not spent much time in cold storage). This can make the flavours can sweeter, sharper and more akin to what the produce should taste like.

 

Do you only buy organic or don’t buy into the whole organic thing at all? Tell us in the comments below. 


  • No organic for me. Too expensive for my budget.

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  • Food you buy in the supermarkets is most grown and treated with pesticides and not so organic fertilisers. In some cases some vegetables (e.g. Pumpkins and Trombone) been in growers’ cool rooms for months. I know a family whose friends have a market garden. They were given vegetables taken out of the coolroom while they were there. I know a shop on the south coast near Victor Harbour that sells only fruit and vegetables from certified organic market gardens. 99% of it is grown in their local area. They also sell milk from cows that live nearby where no pesticides are used. The only fruit from interstate is tropical fruit that will not grow in SA. They also grow some of their own vegetables. Their animals dig and loosen the soil and eat the weeds. They are fed the food scraps + leaves that the birds have attacked.

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  • Not convinced organic is better or better tasting than ordinary but I do believe home grown and local farmer/farmer markets are more tasty.

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  • I don’t buy organic because I can’t afford to pay much. No longer working or receiving pension makes it difficult to make ends meet.

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  • I don’t buy organic, but I will start growing my own soon hopefully when I get the chance

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  • I grow my own and I think it tastes better


    • I agree 100% littlehandsofmine ….sooo much better.

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  • I don’t buy organic at all. I’m not convinced that they’re any better for you.

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  • i know our home grown tomatoes are much more tasty

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  • I don’t believe buying organic has any difference, but I’m all for growing at home :) that way you 100% no it’s fresh and chemical free

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  • I am a big believer of organic food, have been eating it since my Italian dad grew them when I was a kid. I occasionally buy conventional but the majority is organic. It is more nutritious, more tasty, and more importantly it is free of pesticides and fertilizers which accumulate in your body. I have done my research and will not take any chances. My son has grown up on organic food and has been healthy all the way through his childhood. I am lucky though I have a good supplier of organic fruit and veg who buys it direct from the markets and we order every week so she knows how much to order and keeps prices down as much as possible. Organic food in the supermarket is not as fresh and cost a lot more. I also buy dry goods organic online direct from farmers and other good online stores, buy in bulk to save money. It is worth it for me because I am on a whole food plant based diet and save money not buying meat and processed packaged foods. It always gets me that people complain about prices of food and then go and spend money on other luxuries or the latest iphone or go out for meals on a regular basis which costs a lot more and is not as healthy.

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  • Food is expensive enough without slapping on extra for “organic”, we have planted our own fruit and vege garden now, the kids love helping with it and stealing all the strawberries before we get them inside!


    • Lolo, mine do so too or otherwise it’s the lizards who steal them ;)

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  • They are bit expensive to buy.

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  • No, I don’t believe the extra cost is worth it.

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  • Nope, not worth the money and not much different if at all for you anyway.

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  • I don’t buy organic its not worth the extra money

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