Do I have to eat Organic?

Here at CrossFit Tri-Cities we are proponents for good quality whole foods as a staple in your meal plans no matter what diet you choose.  The question does organic matter comes up from time to time.  We wanted to answer that question objectively here.  I personally do not eat organic but if you choose to, then that’s great, everyone needs to do what works for them.

What are the differences?

Let’s examine below what the differences are

        Properties Organic Conventional
Taste test Same Same
Nutritional value Same Same
Pesticides Yes Yes
Farming practices Slightly better Slightly worse
Calories consumed Same Same

 

Taste tests

In hundreds of blind fold taste testing studies, most participants could not tell the difference between organic or conventional foods. However, that decreased when told it was organic due to the fact the participants were led to believe it tasted better due to suggestibility.  

If something tastes better to you an fits in your plan, always go with taste 🙂

Nutritional Value

Nutritional value refers to how much vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients you might find in your foods. This is harder to really understand when looking at the studies and comparing the two due to certain factors and slight differences in processing. The amount of nutritional value might be due to ripeness when tested vs whether it was organic.

Pesticides

This is likely one of the main reasons you chose to include organic/natural foods into your food buying regimen. The truth is, pesticide use is common for both organic (natural plant sources) and conventional(synthetic), consuming large amount of either is likely to be unsafe. However, both practices are still below FDA guidelines and still generally considered safe in the amounts normally consumed. Regardless of which method organic or conventional you choose to eat there is likely inherent risk from the stand point of further testing is always being conducted and what we see as safe today might not be considered safe 10 years from now and changes will need to be made.

Farming practices

Animal care: In some cases, like dairy or animal farming there is only a slight difference here. For instance, cows and chickens are only caged for periods of time before they are let outside their cages to freely eat what they normally would.

Land: From an environmental standpoint most farmers or producers use a different plot of land for their organic or natural products to meet organic standards. This has potential to use up more land, be more expensive, and still contain some pesticide or chemicals used from conventional practices just by chance or accident because it is on the same farm in most cases.

Calories consumed:

Your body technically from a calorie standpoint does not know the difference between organic or conventional foods whole or ultra-processed. Your organic cereal or fruit snacks is not any healthier because they used Organic cane sugar vs sugar. In some cases, a company might have better overall less processed ingredients or lower their overall sugar content to remain relevant to consumers, so in cases of processed foods organic might be the way to go. But if you eat ALL organic foods and in a caloric surplus regardless if its whole foods or processed then you will gain weight and fat.
There is a difference in ingredients used as well.

Conclusion:
If we look at this situation as organic is good and conventional is bad, then most likely we are all missing the mark. This is a very complicated process that will likely be debated for many years to come. Take this info and the information provided below then make your own decision about what you choose to eat and why. This is to tell you where we are with the information we have now.