Is Eating Organic A Waste Of Time … And Money?

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Recent Blog Entries From Dr. Dave Hnida


Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorThink eating organic, and you’ve got to think you’re doing something that’s a real plus for your health.

But maybe not.

A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine says organics really don’t pack the nutritional punch that most of us believe. It’s an important point, since organics can deliver a blow to your wallet, often costing as much as 50 percent more than non-organics.

The research looked at 273 studies and tried to figure out whether you truly do get a nutritional bang for your buck. Here’s the essence of what they conclude when comparing standard to conventional:

- Vitamins: no difference
Minerals: no difference
Protein: no difference
Fats: little difference (some organics have higher Omega-3 content)

Now how about other issues? Pesticide content isn’t always as great an advantage, as you might assume.

In some cases, organic doesn’t mean “pesticide free” — some organics contained only about 30 percent less. (Others, though, were zero.)

But then again, since we don’t know all we should know about the long-term effects of pesticides, especially when it comes to kids, even 30 percent may be important.

Plus, there is the issue of antibiotics going into feed non-organically. We are being bombarded by antibiotics from a lot of sources.

So, all in all, the issues with organics aren’t as clear-cut as we’d like. Nutritionally they seem to be a wash. But from avoidance of chemicals, they may be better.

Cost? Well, that’s up to you.

Either way, eating organic or non-organic fruits, veggies, dairy, etc. is a choice that’s better than a bag of junk food chips.

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