Food Facts: Organic Myths You Need to Know
By Sara Butler
Many people have bought into the idea that organic food is better than the alternative. In fact, according to the Organic Trade Association, over 82 percent of American households regularly stock up on organic food. Organic food is a great way to support small farms and people should invest in their nutrition, but there are a lot of false claims circulating as fact when it comes to organic foods. Since buying organic food can be so expensive, here are a few of the biggest misconceptions about organic food you may want to remember the next time you’re at the store.
Myth No. 1: Organic Food is More Nutritious
One of the biggest drivers of buying organic is that it is believed to be more nutritious than conventionally grown food. But any food labeled organic, even food that has the official USDA organic seal, isn’t necessarily better for you.
There’s no scientific data to support the idea that organic produce is better for you or has more nutrition than conventionally grown produce. So, don’t buy organic because you think it has a different nutrition profile than its conventionally grown counterpart.
Myth No. 2: Organic Farms Don’t Use Pesticide
Another reason people buy organic is that they’re concerned about exposing their family to pesticides. But organic farms can use pesticides -- they simply have to be organic. These repellents are made of natural substances and aren’t usually toxic to humans or animals. The real problem is that these pesticides kill both the harmful and helpful pests in the environment, such as bees and other helpful pollinators.
Myth No. 3: Organic Food Tastes Better
Taste is subjective and many people who buy organic swear the foods taste better. That may well be an expectation that impacts the experience of eating the food since studies have shown that foods labeled as organically produced and fair trade often score better on taste tests. In other words, it may just be the power of suggestion at play. The bottom line is that when it comes to taste, this one is up to you. But there’s no evidence to support a better taste in organically grown produce.
If you eat organic and you like it, then there’s no reason to stop. But it is important to know the facts when you’re making healthy food choices for you and your family.
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