The debate continues on organic vs. conventional grown produce and products:
A recent survey of college students in America showed that 114 students thought that just because the label said, "Organic" meant that the product could have less calories and would ultimately help a person to lose weight.
Which is "better for you?"
University of Michigan researchers showed 114 students a label from either ordinary Oreos vs. Organic Oreos “made with organic flour and sugar.” Then the researchers asked: “Compared to other cookie brands, do you think that 1 serving of these Oreo cookies (the organic version) contains fewer calories or more calories?”
Results: Students believed "Organic Oreos" contained fewer calories.
In a second experiment, students were asked about a 20- year-old female named Susie, who was trying to lose weight. “Would it be okay for Susie to skip her usual three-mile run after dinner to spend more time on schoolwork?”
Most students answered “yes” when told that Susie’s dinner (roasted vegetables over brown rice) had finished with a small bowl of organic ice cream or an organic cookie than if the desserts were not described as organic.
An organic food (or its ingredients) is grown without pesticides, antibiotics, or growth hormones. While organic junk may not harm the environment, it can still have the same or more calories and cause the same harm to a body.
How many people buy Organic Newman-O’s when they’d never buy Oreos, Whole Foods 365 Organic Cheese Crackers instead of Cheez-Its, or Nature’s Path Organic Frosted Toaster Pastries but not Pop-Tarts?
"Which is less likely to cause poisonous outbreaks?"
Research professor, Charles Benbrook states, "Both organic and conventional foods can be a source of poisoning outbreaks. However, in an organic system, there's a much higher level of microbial biodiversity, so there are more naturally beneficial microbes in the system and soil."
“Studies show that when you introduce pathogens into an organic system, they often don’t survive very long because the biologically rich community of organisms that’s naturally there either competes effectively with them or uses them for lunch,” says Benbrook.
“Pesticide use in conventional agriculture tends to reduce microbial biodiversity, both in the soil and on the surfaces of the plant. So when a pathogen does take hold, there’s more of an ecological vacuum there, and the pathogen populations can grow.”
“Most bacteria need nitrogen, and a ready source of nitrogen can fuel spikes in their levels. So in conventional systems that have an excess of nitrogen, there’s extra “gas” that can drive up pathogen levels,” explains Benbrook.
Does organic produce have higher levels of nutrients?
“About 30-35% of the time, there’s no statistical difference. In 5-10% of studies, the nutrient levels are higher in conventional foods. That’s based on studies that compare the same varieties of fruits and vegetables grown in similar locations, which is the ideal way to do these comparisons," says Charles Benbrook research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources