Is organic the same thing as clean?

Is organic the same thing as clean?

While organic food is generally considered a healthier option than conventionally grown food, it doesn't guarantee automatic health benefits; nor means it's clean. The term "organic" refers to how agricultural products are grown and processed, following specific standards and regulations. These standards restrict the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and antibiotics in organic farming. 

In addition, in the United States, for products to be sold, labeled, or represented as organic, they must contain a minimum of 95 percent certified organic content.

Organic products versus conventional ones

Organic produce tends to have lower pesticide residues than conventionally grown produce, which can be beneficial for reducing exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, which we have learned through studies that they tend to contribute to the development of life-threatening diseases. Additionally, organic farming practices often prioritize soil health and biodiversity conservation. However, it's important to note that organic foods can still contain naturally occurring substances that may be harmful in excessive amounts and may also be susceptible to contamination from environmental factors.

What do the studies say?

Some studies suggest that organic foods may have slightly higher levels of certain nutrients, so, as you know, whenever possible, we will always choose organic over non-organic products. Researchers have also found that organic crops have slightly higher levels of certain nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, lower concentrations of certain heavy metals, and a lower incidence of pesticide residues. 

A good reminder: thoroughly wash all produce, regardless of its organic or conventional status, to reduce any potential residues or contaminants.

What do we recommend? 

We try to reduce pesticide exposure and support environmental sustainability; that's why choosing organic options aligns with our values, and we will (almost) always pick those. 

So... between an organic product and a conventional one, which one should I choose?

It's more than just organic or non-organic. Let's look at the example below (assuming the nutritional facts for the products shown are the same). 

Ingredients of organic product 1: 

ingredients of an organic product

Ingredients of organic product 2: 

instructions of an organic product

Ingredients of a non-organic product: 

ingredients of non-organic product

Not only is the list of ingredients of organic product 1 way longer, which is okay but, as a rule of thumb, the fewer ingredients, the better. But it's also not what we would define as clean. It has organic natural flavors; even if organic, you usually want to avoid those. Especially in this case because the brand is not disclosing where they come from.

Now the ingredients of organic product 2 are simpler. It doesn't have as many as organic product 1, but it has xantham gum. Gums have highly adverse effects on your digestive tract (bloating, gas, and discomfort due to allergy and sensitivity development).

The ingredients in the non-organic product are simple and don't contain additives (flavors, gums, colors, etc.). Therefore, in this case, we would choose the non-organic product. It's also important to note that some organic products don't have the USDA organic certification because they're under the USDA waiting period

In other words, always read the ingredients. Reading the ingredients list is an important step in making informed decisions about the products we consume, helping us to identify potential allergens, make informed dietary choices, avoid harmful or unwanted ingredients, and understand the quality of the product.

That's a wrap

It's essential to maintain a balanced and varied diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. If organic is out of your budget or you still feel like it's not for you, try to focus on overall dietary patterns, mindful eating, and choosing a wide range of nutrient-dense foods to support optimal health.

Ultimately, the decision to consume organic food is a personal choice based on factors such as individual health goals, preferences, budget, and availability. It's important to prioritize a well-rounded approach to nutrition and consider the overall quality of your diet rather than relying solely on the organic label.

Wondering if your favorite product is clean or not? We got you! Send us a message today.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of any referenced healthcare organization. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk.

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