Organic or conventional foods?

Many people choose organic products for health reasons. Others, however, consider that the difference in prices in relation to foods grown or processed in the conventional manner is not justified. It is a controversial issue that is still open. And to encourage discussion, one study concludes that both types of foods provide the same amount of nutrients. The main difference between both is the presence or not of pesticides, antibiotics or potentially toxic substances. Keep reading so you can make an informed decision when you go shopping.

If you are one of the people who eat organic foods to protect your health, here is some news that will make you think: a study that appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine assures that organic foods are not safer or healthier than traditional alternatives . The difference they found between the two is that organic foods have less contamination by pesticides and other chemicals such as hormones or antibiotics.

To arrive at these results, a group of researchers from Stanford University, in the United States, analyzed the conclusions of 237 previous studies on this topic. Among them there were 17 studies on diets that compared the human consumption of organic products against conventional ones, and 223 investigations that considered the levels of nutrients or contamination by bacteria, fungi or pesticides of products such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, meats, dairy products, poultry and eggs, produced organically and conventionally.

There were also no differences in protein and fat content between organic and conventional dairy products, although previous studies had suggested that organic milk contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids , which could reduce the chances of heart disease, cancer and arthritis

However, some specialists who defend the benefits of organic products , argue that this study has not taken into account the impact on the environment of farming practices or raising animals. Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, radiation or chemical additives are not used in organic crops, and antibiotics or growth hormones are not used in organic livestock.

The study also does not consider other qualities such as taste, aroma and colors, which often show up or are noticed with the first bite, when comparing, for example, a fruit that was grown in an organic garden of another It was produced in a conventional manner.

In conclusion, the debate is still open and the decision is absolutely personal. If you are going to choose organic products, make sure they are original and of good quality. But if these are not accessible to you and you still want to take care of yourself, do not worry , you can decrease the exposure to pesticides and other chemical products by taking some measures such as the following:

  • Wash the surface of pears and apples with a small kitchen brush before eating them, even if you are going to peel them.
  • Brush the surface of potatoes and other tubers under tap water to remove dirt, debris and pesticide residues
  • Rinse carefully under tap water (may be hot water), celery leaves, lettuce and other vegetables. Do not use soap In addition to pesticides, you will also remove soil or pebbles.
  • Whenever possible, buy local products that are obtained fresher.
  • Buy also the products of the station. They are usually cheaper and have not needed to be refrigerated.

Finally, keep in mind that the consumption of organic products is recommended especially for: pregnant women, babies, the elderly, for people whose defense system is compromised or in development, and for people who may be more susceptible to them. additives and pesticide residues. Remember that the most important thing is that the body receives the nutrients it needs daily and therefore, everyone should strive to eat a balanced diet and consume five daily servings of fruits and vegetables , whether organic or conventional.

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