We pay more just to make sure what we are eating is less likely to kill us. But scientists say that organic food isn’t all that healthier to begin with.
Organic food has become a very profitable market. People will pay whatever thinking organic meat, organic vegetables and organic fruits will not result in cancer treatments later on. But scientists say we’re not actually getting all that much for what we’re paying. In fact, organic meat and products aren’t healthier than conventional supermarket food.
Eating healthy doesn’t come cheap. That’s what organic food producers taught the consumers. Last year alone, Americans spent $31.4 billion for healthy food products. 15 years ago, before there was all that much fuss about pesticides and eating healthy, the organic food market recorded only $3.6 billion in sales.
Organic food companies pride themselves on crops and production that has a much lower exposure to pesticide and antibiotic-resistant bacteria than most of the conventional food today. And that’s one of the reasons consumers believe organic food means eating healthier.
Whereas pesticide levels are lower, how exactly nutritious is the organic food? Stanford scientists say there’s not that much of a difference in nutrition when it comes to organic vs. conventional food.
“People choose to buy organic foods for many different reasons. One of them is perceived health benefits” explained lead author Dr. Crystal Smith-Spangler. “Our patients, our families ask about, ‘Well, are there health reasons to choose organic food in terms of nutritional content or human health outcomes?” she added.
The Stanford research meant reviewing some 200 studies on organic and conventional food, nutrient comparisons and so on. What scientists found out is that there is no difference in the amount of vitamins organic food would deliver compared to conventional food products. The only nutrient addition organic food brought was a bit more phosphorus.
So, organic food doesn’t offer more nutrients than conventional products. A few studies showed that organic milk and chicken contained more omega 3 fatty acids while organic chicken and pork were 33 percent less likely to carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
While Stanford’s recent conclusion that organic food isn’t all that healthier, consumers would rather pay higher costs for less risky food.