Organic vs. Non-Organic Foods in the Workplace

Healthy-food-stamp Weighing the Benefits of Organic vs. Non-Organic Foods in the WorkplaceIf you want the healthiest, most eco-friendly, and best-tasting foods and fruits, you should always buy organic, right? Well, although this is the message that most of us have picked up on in recent years, some experts contend that the truth of the matter is a bit more complex.

 

Although the connection between organic foods and health has been presented as virtually unassailable in the media and in marketing campaigns, recently released studies have called these precepts into question. Researchers and scientists at venerable institutions such as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Purdue University, and the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues have published results indicating that the taste, environmental impact, and nutritional content of organic foods are often equal or even unfavorable when compared to their non-organic counterparts.

 

To get some perspective on the debate, it’s important to recognise what organic foods are – and what they aren’t. In most countries, the term “organic” is a classification that refers to the processes used to grow or produce the food. In other words, most organic food producers don’t advance any overarching claims about their product’s nutritional content, taste, or environmental impact – the term “organic” simply refers to the practices used in the growing or manufacturing process.

 

So how can you decide whether making an investment in organics is the right choice for you? To a large extent, it boils down to personal preference and budget constraints (or lack thereof). However, according to food safety experts, some types of produce benefit more from organic growing practices than others, due to their natural composition or the conventional techniques used to cultivate them. Some of the foods that are frequently mentioned as benefiting the most from organic manufacturing practices in terms of health and safety gains include meat, milk, celery, kale, leafy greens, potatoes, tomatoes, and produce that is consumed with the outer skin intact.

 

Having a hard time keeping your shopping list straight? The nonprofit organisation EWG offers a printable PDF of its 2014 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ or a free iPhone app to help you navigate the organic and conventional choices in your grocer’s produce aisle. Visit www.foodnews.org to find out more.

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