Are Organic Foods Really Healthier For You?
Organic produce and meat typically isn’t any better for you than conventional varieties when it comes to vitamin and nutrient content, according to a new review of the evidence.
The review sums up evidence from hundreds of studies of organic foods. Some of the studies compared organic milk, meats, eggs, and produce to non-organic foods. Those studies measured nutrients in the foods as well as contaminants like pesticides and bacteria. A few studies tried to find health differences between people who ate only organic or only non-organic foods.
After weighing all the evidence, the researchers conclude that organic foods don’t appear to have more vitamins or nutrients than non-organic foods.
Non-organic fruits and vegetables were 30% more likely to have pesticides than organic fruits and vegetables. But because it’s rare for any produce to exceed pesticide safety limits set by the FDA, researchers say it’s not known whether reducing an already small exposure makes a difference.
The review also shows that organic meats are less likely to harbor “superbug” bacteria that are resistant to treatment with antibiotics. But researchers say most antibiotic-resistant infections in people come from misuse of antibiotics, not from eating contaminated foods.
In the end, researchers say there’s no evidence that people who stick to organic diets are healthier than people who eat non-organic foods.