Nutritional Quality of Organic Foods

The argument over the benefits of organic food versus non organic food has been going on for years. On the health food front, they will argue that there is no comparison; organic food is better, period. On the flip side, mass market food processors say that their food products have every bit as much nutritional value, for half the money. So, what's a consumer to do?

The grocery stores are now teeming with organic alternatives for everything from laxatives to soda pop. The prices for these items are significantly higher, so the big question remains- are the differences worth the money? Surprisingly, on the nutritional front, maybe not.

It's true, many organic food products are manufactured in stricter environments, and may offer a bit more safety by that standard alone. Organic foods are also free of many of the additives that are found in mass produced foods. With some of the health risks associated with food additives, that is certainly another bonus. None would argue that additive free food manufactured in a cleaner environment is worth a bit more coin.

If you take into account a comparison based on nutritional value alone, there doesn't seem to be much difference in organic foods and their less expensive counterparts. A study from the Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Research Unit, and supported by the UK Food Standards Agency, found no measureable difference in nutritional value between organic foods and conventional foods. The tiny difference that they did find was considered to be related to the manufacturing process, and not the foodstuffs themselves. This study included abstracts from 1958 all the way up to 2008, and was published in July 2009.
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