IS IT JUST A RIP OFF, OR ARE THERE GENUINE BENEFITS?
I had the pleasure of visiting the Field to Fork Organics headquarters recently. I write their weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ so it was great to see the fresh produce coming in ready to be packed.
The majority of items are seasonal and locally sourced; consequently the produce is exceptionally fresh and retains many of its nutrients. Furthermore, buying into an organic vegetable box scheme will benefit the local economy and help to reduce carbon emissions.
As a Nutritional Therapist, I am often asked if organic food is really more beneficial for our health or just a marketing ploy to rip us off! Well, organic produce is often more expensive. However, the method of growing means that organic crops are allowed to grow at their natural rate in mineral rich soils and as a consequence studies have shown that the antioxidant levels are substantially higher in organically grown crops.
Farming methods have changed since days gone by. Conventionally grown crops, are now intensively farmed to create high crop yields at a low cost using artificial fertilizers and other methods to speed up growth. As a result our soils are now pesticide rich and nutrient poor.
Alarmingly, studies have indicated that cadmium (the toxic metal) and pesticide residues are found to be significant in non organic crops. Pesticides contain a potent cocktail of toxic chemicals. One of these chemicals, organophosphorus has been associated with developmental problems in children including autism and ADHD. Additionally, the World Health Organisation claims that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world’s most widely used herbicide, is probably carcinogenic.
Organic meats and poultry are not treated with antibiotics and growth hormones, a common place practise in conventionally reared meat. Unfortunately, we really don’t know the long term effects of these substances when we consume them in our food.
Nonetheless, not everyone agrees with these findings. Conflicting information can be found, but it is always worth checking who has financed the research!