When it comes to eating healthy, many people believe that buying organic food is the way to go. They believe spending up to five times more on food is worth it because its better for you. This however, is not exactly the case. Here’s four myths busted about organic food.
1.Even if a product is labeled as organic, it doesn’t necessarily mean it hasn’t been exposed to pesticides or herbicides.
Although it’s true that organic food isn’t sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, it still is possible that the food has been exposed to them, or other harmful substances. In order to receive a USDA “organic label”, only 95 percent of the ingredients must be organic. There are about 200 non-organic substances producers can add to their product and still keep the organic label. These substances (the remaining 5 percent of the product) can contain pesticides or herbicides.
2. No research has ever proven organic food to be healthier for you
Sure, since organic food is (relatively) free of pesticides, it’s logical to think that organic food is a much healthier option. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that “although lower pesticide levels in organic foods could reduce the risk of ingesting drug-resistant bacteria, in the long term, there is currently no direct evidence that consuming an organic diet leads to improved health or lower risk of disease.” A 2012 Stanford University study reported that it’s a waste of money to pay more for the organic label in an attempt to buy the most nutritious food available. “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” wrote Dena Bravata, the study’s lead researcher.
3. Organic food is not always better for the environment
Despite the fact that the absence of pesticides is helpful to the environment, organic food is not always good for the environment. When you don’t purchase organic food locally, the carbon footprint the transportation leaves is much more destructive than the pesticides of non-organic farms.
4. Products labeled organic are not inspected for their purity
Each apple or orange isn’t checked for its organic veracity. Every container filled with processed food and labeled organic approved before it’s stocked on market shelves isn’t either. Such meticulous diligence would be impractical and inefficient. The inspection process for products labeled organic often is superficial. At least once a year, a third party inspects farms and food manufacturers that claim their products are organic. These visits ranges from simply looking over paperwork to mucking about in the fields to conducting detailed interviews with farm owners and workers, along with processors and transporters. The farmers and food processors inspected pay certifiers for the opportunity to be approved, and the various certifiers compete with one another for business. So, if an inspection is rigorous, a farmer may opt to work with a competing certifier that does a less thorough job.
Still think organic food is healthier for you and the environment? Still think these “healthier” options are worth all the extra money? All of these factors could result in your $20 organic strawberries being the exact same as everyone else’s $4 regular strawberries. Sorry for your luck.