A recent meta-study questioning whether organic foods are better resulted in headlines declaring that organic foods are not ‘healthier’. By now you probably have read about the shortcomings of this conclusion: none of the studies evaluated ran longer than two years, and the majority of studies looked only at traditional nutritional composition.
Savvy organic fans realize that the sustainable and natural methods favored by organic farmers do not significantly affect vitamin, fat, or protein composition. Organic products contribute to human health by reducing pesticide, antibiotic, and other foreign substance exposure; by improving overall ecological health which can benefit humans through cleaner air and water; and by influencing the nutritional quality (i.e. not the overall fat percentage in meat but the types of heart-healthy versus artery clogging fats contained in the meat). People also often prefer organically labelled foodstuffs for non-health related reasons, like animal welfare.
But are the higher priced foods with organic labels really delivering on these more subtle levels? The German newspaper Die Welt features a look behind the curtain of the organic “myth”.
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