Is Organic Food Better For You Than Non-Organic Food?
Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Miss a question? Go here.
The organic food industry continues to grow, and many us, for a number of reasons, continue to seek out and pay more for foods labeled as organic.
Organic Produce © Paylessimages - Fotolia
But a new Stanford University study has found little evidence that organic foods are healthier for us than non-organic foods. So what gives?
NPR reports that the Stanford study found there was less pesticide contamination on organic produce, but that the authors of the study say that fact doesn't matter due to conventionally grown food not exceeding the "allowable limits of pesticide residue set by federal regulations."
Is there a notable difference between organic and non-organic food? I asked Valley chefs and restaurateurs to respond to this question, and this is what they had to say:
I am not convinced by the new reports that are out. What's better for your health: a vegetable grown with fertilizer and sprayed with pesticide or one that is grown without? I've seen farmers using lady bugs to fight insects as an alternative to pesticide, and have seen people like Bob McClendon pull out and destroy an entire crop because it was not up to his standards. Bottom line: I'd prefer to eat organic as much as I can.
There has to be a link between food that's been genetically altered and the diseases that have become more prevalent the last 10 or 15 years. I try to buy and cook organic. The problem is that not everyone wants to pay the cost of eating organic. In Arizona it's difficult to always purchase organic food, especially local -- our growing season doesn't support it well -- but it's getting much easier to buy organic at a fair price.
Those that are more organically driven aren't debating if organic versus non-organic produce, for example, has the same vitamin content. They are concerned with what the pesticides, additives, and growth hormones are doing to their bodies.