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Organic Versus Conventional Food

This is a hotly debated topic, but with an ever-expanding market of 20 percent annually, we are seeing organic alternatives in every supermarket aisle.


There are many reasons why you should eat organic and more and more people are becoming aware of the issues surrounding conventional food production. One of the major reason people choose to buy organic fruits and vegetables is to reduce intake of pesticides normally found in conventional foods.


Organic: a food may be classified as organic if it is grown without the use of any toxic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers. Organic meats and eggs may only come from animals raised on organic foods, and have the ability to roam outdoors.


Price: Conventional food is priced much lower in comparison to organic food. Higher production costs, seasonal trade and farmers unable to grow in such vast quantities as conventional foods, increases the cost of organic produce at the market place.


Anti-oxidants: An emerging area of interest is in the anti-oxidant content of organic foods. Research suggests that organic foods may have higher levels of anti-oxidants because of the reduced use of pesticides and antibiotics.


Nutrient levels: A few small studies have shown that some organic foods contain higher nutrient levels than conventional ones. But for the most part, research has found little difference between organic and conventional food nutrient levels.  Connie Diekman, Director of University Nutrition at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri believes, “More research is needed before it can be stated that organic foods provide more nutritional value.”


Appearance: Organic food may not look picture perfect when compared to conventional foods, however they are not gassed or frozen to preserve them either. Hundreds of kilos of conventional fresh foods are discarded annually due to their unusual size or colour.


Flavour: This depends on who is doing the eating!  However, fruit and vegetables grown in season will often taste better.


Environment: Organic farms are only certified ‘organic’ after three years of operating according to organic principals.  Animals raised using organic methods are treated humanely and with respect, eg chickens are free range and are not kept in cages. Organic farming is also concerned with working with the environment and in harmony with existing eco-systems such as conserving water, soil and energy using renewal resources and natural farming cycles.


I think there is definitely merit in buying organic, however the source will often dictate the real difference in taste, appearance and nutritional value.  Whether the extra money is worth peace of mind is simply personal preference.  I buy both!






Sydney Essential Health is situated in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, 5 minutes walk from the centre of Bondi Junction and close to Woollahra, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Bellevue Hill, Paddington, Edgecliff, Randwick, Coogee and Bondi. Also only a quick train or bus ride from the city of Sydney and Sydney CBD. Click here for map and contact details.

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