Should we eat organic produce?

The “organic produce” section in the supermarkets keeps getting bigger and bigger, while the prices for organic foods keep rising. So the obvious question is – is it even worth paying extra for organic foods?

What does “organic” mean?

Basically, “organic” means that the veggies and fruits are grown old-school style. For instance, instead of using synthetic fertilizers to feed the soil and plants only the natural ones are used.

In order to manage weeds, farmers use mulch or crop rotation. They also do not use pesticides to keep the insects away. Organic farming is aimed at promoting water and soil conservation and at creating less pollution.

Are organic foods more nutritious?

There have been several studies that found no significant difference in vitamin, protein, and fat contents between organic and conventional produce.

However, a more recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition states that organic foods are indeed more nutritious and that they can contain up to 70% more antioxidants than the bigger and faster-growing conventional produce.

Finally, probably the most significant factor proven by all studies is that conventional produce contain much more pesticides and therefore can cause pesticide contamination.

Which foods are worth buying organic if you’re on a tight budget?

Whether you should buy organic produce or not highly depends on your priorities and the budget. After all, buying conventional foods is better than buying none at all.

There are, however, certain organic fruits and veggies that are definitely worth paying more for. For instance, if you are buying leafy greens or intend to eat the skin of the product (like berries, apples, peaches, tomatoes, etc.) then it is definitely better to buy organic. While you can save money by buying conventional bananas, avocadoes, sweet peas, oranges, cabbages and other such-like foods (check out the dirty dozen list).