Photo: Min Lee (flickr)
Organic food, especially vegetables are widely available in grocery stores. Organic food has claimed to be healthier yet expensive compared to normal vegetables. So is it worth it to pay more for the supposed health benefits?
Well, it might be worth it if organically grown vegetables are in fact better for you than vegetables grown using fertilizers and pesticides. But, at least according to one study, organic veggies are no more healthful than vegetables grown in conventional ways.
Specifically, the study found that organic and non-organic vegetables have roughly the same amount of polyphenols–an antioxidant with supposed health benefits. There’s some evidence that polyphenols reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Higher In Polyphenols
But when it comes to the organically and conventionally grown onions, carrots, and potatoes looked at in the study, there’s no evidence that the organic versions were higher in polyphenols.
Now, keep in mind that there may be other reasons to buy organic vegetables.
Some people prefer the taste. And because pesticides and fertilizers can pollute rivers and contribute to dead zones in oceans, using less of these chemicals is good for the environment.
Also, although there’s little evidence that consuming trace amounts of pesticides sprayed on regular vegetables harms people, it certainly doesn’t hurt that in eating organic veggies you’re not consuming any pesticides at all.
Pay More, Get More?
So if health is your main concern, it’s certainly smart to eat plenty of vegetables. But paying more for organics doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a more healthful option.
- Antioxidant Levels Not Higher in Organic Vegetables (WebMD)