Is BIO food really as awesome as people say it is?
There is immense pressure nowadays to buy BIO food because it affects your health. Many people would rather buy more expensive BIO food for their family instead of going out for a trip because they think they are investing in higher quality food and thus protecting their family from various diseases. But what do the studies say? Is it true? Well, since you're reading this article you must have already realize the answer is not "yes".
So what does organic food even mean?
- They should not contain synthetic compound like hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms. However, that depends on the country so it doesn't have to be 100% organic.
- They are overall more expensive because you cannot use chemical pesticides that protect the crops from pest. Still, the difference in amount of pesticides contained is so small it barely has any effect (study here)
- It is said they contain more micronutrients, antioxidants etc. but these differences are given more by the place where they are grown that if they are organic or not. (study here)
- Organic animal products contain more protein and a better ratio of Omega 3 vs Omega 6 (study here)
Picture from Menn Henselman's lecture
It's important to realize the insufficient amount of studies on organic farming and the effects of various substances on our health and the possibilities of infections from various bacteria. Animals can move, but plants cannot, so if they are threatened they produce substances that protect them from it. You could also find some information about these substances being beneficial to the human body, but yet no studies have actually proven this claim nor what amount we would have to consume for it to have effect.
Let's look back at the third claim. Again, there is no clear answer as to whether you will really eliminate your exposure to pesticides and if there are any health benefits. For example in this study conducted with 623.080 women they didn't find any difference whatsoever in the probability of contracting cancer in women who eat or do not eat organic food.
Please remember that organic foo is a very lucrative product. Organic food market has reached USD 29 billion in the USA and grows 10% every year. Research has shown that organic food is 47% more expensive, but the production cost is only higher by 5-10% so the incredible rise in prices in the US as mainly due to marketing.
It's also why there is so many BIO and organic products that are still the same processed shit as their non BIO version. The fact that they are organic will not change it. It's the same with spelt flour etc. You still use it to make muffins but people eat it by the kilo because it's "healthy" but don't relize it's still the same calories and the same carbs. You can't escape that.
The biggest problem of BIO food and what should we buy?
The biggest problem is the freshness of the food. You might have bought a BIO apple, but if it traveled to your supermarket several weeks in a box, it looses all benefits it might have had. Studies have shown that the amount of vitamin C in bell pepper, tomatoes, peaches and apricots is higher if they are ripe. Another study compared the amount of vitamin C in brocolli found in a supermarket in May (in season) and fall (imported). Results? The inported one had only half the amount.
So the best thing is to buy food from markets and look at the date of harvest and how long it waas.
Does that mean it's nonsense to buy BIO food?
Definitely not! Even though we cannot say it's able to improve our health, nutrition information varies depending on the soil and methods of producing it, not only if it's organic or not and fearing pesticides is also not necessary... with animal products the quality is better so if you have the financial liberty to choose, buy organic animal products like eggs, meat and milk rather than fruits and veegtables. If you have the money to buy both organic, great, but still focus more on the date of harvest, which emans local is more fresh ergo better. It's clear they contain more vitamins and less pesticides.
This article should be mainly for all people who think of buying organic and BIO products for themselves or their family because of all those news and articles about the harmful pesticides. As I said, focus on freshness. If you care about weight loss, it's still more improtant to eat fruits and vegetables regularly and not eating processed shit than if what you eat is BIO or not. Limit the amount of fruits and vegetable only because you cannot afford organic ones is bullshit.
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Strength and fitness trainer
Owner and founder of Barbar gym
Holder of Czech and international nutrition and fitness certificates