Going Organic: Benefits And Facts About Organic Foods
According to a recent report from the Organic Trade Association, more than 75 percent of Americans choose organic foods at least occasionally, and about 30 percent have recently begun purchasing organic products. But there is a lot of debate about the merits of going organic, and sorting out fact from fiction can be tricky. Here is the truth about the terminology, and the nutritional and health benefits of going organic and reaching organic options more frequently.
Fact 1: Organic Foods Provide More Nutrients
A report by the French Agency for Food Safety found that organically grown foods contain more minerals and antioxidants, which are considered “good” fats, and far fewer nitrates, which have been linked to such health problems as diabetes and Alzheimer’s. A study that compared the nutritional content of organic and non-organic chicken found that the organic samples were leaner and contained more healthful omega-3 fatty acids. An analysis of organic milk found that it packs 75 percent more beta-carotene, as well as 50 percent more vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that supports immunity.
Fact 2: Organic Food Tastes Better
Forty-three percent of organic food buyers cite better taste as a major reason for going organic by purchasing organic fruits and vegetables, and there is research to confirm the taste advantage. The term “organoleptic” refers to the sensory properties of a particular food – its taste, appearance, color, aroma, size, firmness, mouth feel and even sound (i.e., the “snap” of a string bean or “crack” when biting into a crisp apple). Several published studies have shown that organic versions of foods rank higher in organoleptic characteristics. One apple study compared five pairs from an organic farm and a nearby conventional orchard. Without knowing which was which, trained tasters rated the organic apples as tastier.
Fact 3: Organic Benefits Go Beyond Nutrition
By law, organically produced foods cannot be given antibiotics. That is the key, because these substances contaminate ground and water systems, triggering an unhealthy domino effect that can impact you if you become ill or injured. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture has contributed to the rise in drug-resistant germs. The Food and Drug Administration now says that more than 70 percent of bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one of the drugs most commonly used to treat infections.
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