Buying Organic Isn’t as Healthy as You Thought

Juliana Renert, Staff Reporter

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49.4 billion.

That’s how much money organic sales in 2017 made in America alone, which set a new US record. Up 6.4 percent from the previous year, more and more consumers have been turning their lifestyles organic.

What exactly is organic? Well, its produce is grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMO) or growth hormones.

Photo taken from pexels
The rise of households across America switching to organic has increased immensely throughout recent years. This way of living includes fresh, pesticide-free produce instead of conventionally grown produce.

But are there significant benefits for your body, as we’ve been told? Some researchers think otherwise. There is new evidence suggesting that organic foods aren’t as beneficial as we have thought.

“While organic foods have fewer synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and are free of hormones and antibiotics, they don’t appear to have a nutritional advantage over their conventional counterparts,” according to a study done by Harvard Medical School.

Basically, if comparing an orange that was conventionally grown, and one organically grown, there would not be a huge, noticeable nutritional difference for your body.

Yes, there are negatives of not eating organic produce, but evidence shows that it’s immensely more important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, then to avoid them because of pesticide concerns.

the number one reason why people in the U.S. don’t buy organic produce is the cost”

Generally, most fruits you eat after removing the outer covering— like oranges or bananas—  are less likely to have pesticide contamination.

“If you thoroughly wash your produce with cold water and throw away the outer leaves of leafy vegetables (like romaine), you will remove most of the pesticide residue,” Dr. Roshini Raj from Health says.

Furthermore, the number one reason why people in the U.S. don’t buy organic produce is the cost.

“The USDA estimates that organically-produced food can cost anywhere from 10 to 30 percent more than conventionally mass-produced food,” according to Sarah Elliott, a writer on How Stuff Works.

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The national average of households that have bought organic in 2016 is shown to be 82 percent in the U.S. States like Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Arizona and Wyoming proved to have the highest percentile of organic households; all being 90 percent or over.

The next few years of a high school or college students’ life, will be tied to the regulation of saving money. When organic foods can cost up to 30 percent more compared to non-organic foods, we have to ask the question. Does the benefit of organic foods outweigh the expense?

While it might only seem like a few dollars more at the store, the organic lifestyle can get pretty pricey.

However, growing organic produce rather than conventionally does show to have some benefits for the environment.

“[Organic produce] preserves crop varieties which results in higher soil quality that is safer for the environment,” according to writer Marilyn Gemino, it also “prohibits the use of all synthetic chemicals, [and] does not pose any threats for water contamination underground.”

Therefore, when walking into a grocery store or farmers market, it’s always important to know all of the ingredients and/or pesticides in the products you wish to buy. It’s up to you if you’ll join the movement of millions of Americans and switch to this organic lifestyle. With all of the data at hand contradicting this alternative, I will not be switching to organic.