Is Organic Food Better For You Than Non-Organic Food?

Categories: Chow Bella

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 Miss a question? Go here.

Organic Produce © Paylessimages - Fotolia
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.

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:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for JacquesQualin.jpg
Chef Jacques Qualin,
J&G Steakhouse

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.

Thumbnail image for MichaelRusconibitesanddishes.jpg
Michael Rusconi
Chef and Owner, Rusconi's American Kitchen

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.

Thumbnail image for LisaKhnanishobandd.jpg
Lisa Khnanisho
Owner, Tryst Café

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.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

The whole purpose of organic is to get away from pesticides (and antibiotics and genetic manipulation) as much as possible. Not sure how nutrition came into the equation, whether it is the ignorance of the general public or propagandized advertising. the question is simple: Do you want an apple, or an apple covered in wax & pesticides? Btw, it is still an apple.


bacteria resistant infections are a result of too much anti-biotics in our meet.


It's not about the nutritional content of the vegetable.   It's about poisons our bodies don't need.

Now Trending

From the Vault