2. Pre and Post Research
Prior to Research
◦ Organic food is a healthier alternative to
conventionally produced foods
◦ In organic food there are no traces of
◦ There are health benefits associated with
consuming organic products
◦ Although many of my ideas can be true, after
reasearching this topic and learning more about
organic and non-organic products, I have found
that some of my opinions about organic food
lack supporting evidence
◦ From this project my views have changed about
the organic foods and I now believe that
purchasing these products are not worth it
◦ Produced without the use of chemicals, including
fertilizers or pesticides, along with hormones, GMO's,
◦ Derived from living matter
◦ "Fresh," "Natural," "Healthier"
◦ Any food that has utilized synthetic products, such as
chemical fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics,
or GMO's in its production
◦ Not deriving from living matter
◦ "Processed," "Manmade," "Conventional," "Artificial"
4. Advocates of Organic
◦ Organic food consumption is one of the fastest
growing food segments of the US
◦ Consumers generally perceive organic foods to
be healthier and safer for themselves and the
◦ Organic proponents believe organic food is
superior and improves human health
◦ Consumers believe that organic produce is more
nutritious than conventionally grown produce
◦ Organic farms use less energy and produce less
◦ There are health risks associated with pesticides
in conventional foods
5. Why do people buy organic foods?
Consumers buy organic
foods as an investment in
The preference for organic
food has been
associated with the increased
interest towards personal
health and the well-being of
animals and the environment
Decreased risk of gastrointestinal cancer
Regarding minerals, organic foods have
21% more iron and 29% more
magnesium than non-organic foods
Organic food has higher levels of
vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals,
and have fewer pesticides residues and
lower nitrate content
7. Are there health benefits?
◦ There have been very few studies conducted to
assess whether there are potential or actual health
benefits from eating organic foods
◦ There may be correlations that suggest that there
are health benefits associated with the
consumption of organic foods, but there is no
evidence or proof to tell us whether there are
definitive health benefits
8. Purchasing Organic Food is Not Worth it
◦ Misleading packaging
◦ Expensive Prices
◦ Traces of pesticides left
on organic products
◦ No guaranteed health
◦ Because there is no evidence to prove that organic food is
healthier, I wouldn’t eat organic food if you don’t have the
means to support that lifestyle or if eating "natural food" is
outside of your budget
◦ If you can afford it, I say why not, it certainly won't harm you
◦ The main thing I would watch for is the misleading packaging.
Before purchasing a product that says it is "organic" be sure
to read the label to see if any of the ingredients are
Anthony Trewavas. (2001). Urban myths of organic farming. Nature, 410(6827), 409-
410. Retrieved from: https://search-proquest- com.ezpprod1.hul.harvard.edu/docview/204494427/fulltextPDF/3C43145957CD4C72PQ/1?accountid=11311
Aubrey, A., & Charles, D. (2012, September 4). Why Organic Food May Not Be Healthier For
You. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/09/04/160395259/why-organic-food-may-not-be-healthier-for-you.
Brown, M. J. (2016, May 14). What is Organic Food, and is it Better Than Non-Organic? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-organic-food.
Campbell, H. (2019, October 4). Opinion: Save your budget from organic food hypocrisy. Retrieved from https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2019/10/04/opinion-save-your-
Crinnion, Walter J. (2010). Organic foods contain higher levels of certain nutrients, lower levels of pesticides, and may provide health benefits for the consumer. Alternative Medicine
Review,15(1), 4-12. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=4f77f94d-bc5e-4704-a9c1-96e98e332388%40sdc-v-
11. References Continued
Forman, Joel, & Silverstein, Janet. (2012). Organic foods: Health and environmental advantages and disadvantages. Pediatrics, 130(5), E1406-15. Retrieved
Kadey, M. (2019, June 3). The Organic Food Dilemma: Is It Really Worth the Splurge? Retrieved from https://www.bicycling.com/health-nutrition/a27614830/organic-
Lomborg, B. (2016, June 12). Think organic food is better for you, animals, and the planet? Think again. Retrieved
Magkos, F., Arvaniti, F., & Zampelas, A. (2006). Organic Food: Buying More Safety or Just Peace of Mind? A Critical Review of the Literature. Critical Reviews in Food
Science and Nutrition, 46(1), 23-56. Retrieved from: https://www-tandfonline-com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/doi/pdf/10.1080/10408690490911846?needAccess=true
Paul, J., & Rana, J. (2012). Consumer behavior and purchase intention for organic food. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 29(6), 412-422. Retrieved from: https://search-
Zoppi, L. (2019, January 16). Organic Food Health Benefits. Retrieved from: https://www.news-medical.net/health/Organic-Food-Health-Benefits.aspx.
Hinweis der Redaktion
My interest in organic and inorganic foods was prompted by the conflicting interests about the health benefits associated with the consumption of organic foods.
Prior to doing any research on this topic, I had a minimal amount of information or knowledge about the controversy between organic and inorganic foods. The only information I had came from the news, conversations and little google searches I've done in the past. Before I did any research I thought that organic food was definitely a healthier alternative to conventionally produced foods. I, like many others prior to researching and looking in detail to this subject, thought that consuming organic foods have health benefits associated to it, especially because of the thought that organic foods have no traces of pesticides. According to Lois Zoppi from News Medical Life Sciences, expectations around the health benefits of organic food are among the strongest motivations for consumers to buy organic products. Following this research, I found that my opinions about organic foods have quickly changed and my views on purchasing these products have been altered.
Organic products may be associated with the terms "Fresh," "Natural," and "Healthier," but the overall meaning of this term is the production of food without the use of chemicals, including fertilizers or pesticides, along with hormones, GMO's, or antibiotics. It is primarily derived from living matter. In condtradiction to organic products we have inorganic foods which may also be known as "processed," "manmade," "conventional," and "artificial." Non-organic foods are the opposite of organic food, any food that has utilized products including chemical fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or GMO's in its production.
Advocate and promoters of organic foods tend to believe that organic food is superior and improves human health. It has become a fast growing segment in the food industry. According to Allison Aubrey and Dan Charles from NPR, organics is a $29 billion industry and still growing. This growing community of consumers believe that organic food is safer for themselves and the environment, more nutritious, and produce less energy and waste. The telegraph proposes that organic farming uses less energy, emits less greenhouse gasses, nitrous oxide and ammonia and causes less nitrogen leeching than a conventional field. The most common reason people choose to consume organic products is because of the health risks associated with pesticides in conventional foods, and although these statements may be true, we have no evidence to prove that organic products are directly linked with health benefits.
Consumers who buy organic foods view their food choice as an investment in good health. According to Mary Jane Brown from Healthline, studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and non-organic foods have provided mixed results. However, evidence does suggest that food grown organically may be more nutritious. In this statement the key word is "maybe". Although several studies have found that organic foods generally contain higher levels of antioxidants and certain micronutrients, such as vitamin C, zinc and iron, we perceive these general statements that eating organic benefits our health and wellbeing of our environment and animals, but we lack supporting evidence to contribute to these conversations and beliefs.
Within the articles I have read, statistics like overall decreased risk of gastrointestinal cancer, organic foods have 21% more iron and 29% more magnesium than non-organic foods, and organic food has higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, and have fewer pesticide residues and lower nitrate content. With these statistics and elaborate information, a lay person who has never looked into this subject wouldn’t give it a second thought that organic foods are the best option. Most of the population wouldn't think about third variables that may contribute to these results. Comparative studies of organic and conventional produce are difficult to construct and evaluate due to extraneous variables that may be impossible to control. The correlations between these statements don't acknowledge all the factors that go into the production of these products. Although these measurements correlate to organic food providing health benefits, we can't say it has a cause effect relationship.
According to Matthew Kadey, organic packaged foods are often automatically perceived as healthier, even though they may not be. While advertisements and common views about organic products suggest great health benefits, there are very few studies that support and measure the actual advantages to a person's health by eating organic. Many tests that have been run, but fail to show that organic food have a better taste or nutritional value.
Throughout my research I have found that purchasing organic food is not worth the ordeal the industry makes it out to be. These companies make organic food sound so much better than they are and, in many cases, use misleading packaging to lure consumers to their products. Products with the label “organic” must consist of at least 95% organically processed ingredients, which means the remaining 5% can be conventionally processed. According to Detroit news, package labels are another source of false distinctions. The FDA has been working to bring clarity to the term "natural," recognizing that the term is virtually meaningless- a marketing tool meant to woo wavering customers who have thousands more products to choose from than in the past. Although we know that pesticides can be found on synthetic products, which is why many people choose to consume organic products, we have seen organic foods with detectable amounts of residue. It has been stated in the NPR news article that although there is less pesticide contamination on organic produce, they found that the vast majority of conventionally grown food did not exceed the allowable limits of pesticide residue set by federal regulation. Organic food is also known to be significantly more expensive with no guaranteed health benefits attached to it.
Following the research from this project, I have concluded that if eating organically is consuming a large percentage of your income and if it's beyond your means or weekly/ monthly income, I don’t think it is worth it. I say this in large because of the lack of supporting evidence that shows consumers a definitive answer to whether there are health benefits associated with eating these products. For those that have the money available and can afford these products, I would eat organic products, it certainly won’t harm you. If you are going to eat organically, I would be careful of the misleading packaging and before purchasing any of these products, to see if any of the ingredients are synthetic because if you are buying organic you should be eating what you are being told is in the product.