A recent article in the LA Times has many people buzzing- some in surprise, and some in bemusement (along the lines of “well, yes of course”). After reviewing 343 studies conducted across the U.S. and Europe, the British Journal of Nutrition has declared that Organic foods are, in point of fact, more nutritious than their conventional counterparts.
We’ve known for some time that organic agricultural methods have a number of benefits beyond the yield itself: soil tends to be healthier, pesticides are not permitted (and thus do not harm workers, animals, or soil, nor do they run off into our water supply), no hormones are given to livestock, and no irradiation nor sewage sludge is involved. Now we also know that organically grown produce is higher in antioxidants, a crucial factor in maintaining one’s health.
Antioxidants, natural compounds that are readily available in fruits and vegetables, fight off age-accelerating free radicals. While this may sound like the plot for an adventure novel about free-thinking revolutionaries, what it means is actually more exciting: antioxidants can ward off these free radicals, and thus prevent or reduce the damage they do the body. Whether you are interested in youthful skin or healthy kidneys, this is good news for us all.
Above all, plan to eat more fruits and vegetables (it has been said that the average American gets more of their daily calories from sodas than from veggies, a statistic we should all fight back against). Organic is a strong first choice, but if it is between conventional veggies or none at all, a thorough scrubbing is a quick step along the way to better health.
While constructing your meal plan for the back-to-school or refreshing your back-to-work menus, factor in organics where possible. While some organics may carry a higher price tag, you can now refer to this study to remind yourself that you are getting more bang for your buck.