The $29 billion organic food industry is here to stop the dangers of modern agriculture, but new evidence suggests eating organic food is a waste of money. The marketing and hype around organic farming causes parents to unduly worry and obsess over finding pesticide-free food for their families. Furthermore, Penn & Teller recently released a video calling “Bullshit” on anyone who thinks there’s a difference in taste.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recently chimed in to warn mothers that organic food is a waste of money: “I don’t want that mom who’s at the grocery store to feel guilty if she can’t afford organic. That mom shouldn’t feel like she’s making a lesser choice,” said Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, MS, a spokeswoman for the Academy.
Food labeled “organic” costs 30% more than other labels and can be harder to find. So, what are the real health risks to your family? The evidence does not seem to support the worries parents are having. Here’s 5 reasons why organic food is a waste of money:
- Organic food is not healthier
A recent study released from Stamford University scientists show that foods labeled “Organic” do not have any more nutrients or health benefits than those without the label.
- Organic food is not pesticide-free
There is no guarantee organic food will be pesticide-free, despite what the label says. Studies show there’s only 30% less pesticides in products with an “organic” label. Furthermore, organic food is a waste of money because there are twenty “organically approved chemicals” for spraying on crops. Big organic farms are factory farms where most designated “organic” products originate, and nobody is overseeing their operations to ensure these farms are sticking to the guidelines. Big farm production of organic produce has cast a shadow on the whole movement, which is why most organic food is a waste of money.
- Peeling off skin negates pesticides anyway
Taking off the outside of a potato, banana or fruit will remove the possibility of any residue that might have resulted in non-organic farming. These types of organic food are a waste of money because you’re removing the physical barrier to the food eaten. Why buy organic bananas unless you plan on eating the peels?
- Organic foods are bad for the environment
Environmentalists know that organic food is a waste of money because of the increased pressures to produce more crops with less technology. Oxford University released a report that organic milk generates higher greenhouse gas emissions than their conventional counterparts, for instance. Pesticides not only help reduce the cost of producing crops, they also reduce the natural resources required to produce the foods.
- Most pesticides are not harmful
The Huffington Post reported on the misunderstanding that most people have for how farmers control pests on farms. Sulfur and copper sprays are benign for humans, while other pesticides in large quantities can bad for humans. Everything in moderation is fine.
It’s a lot of hogwash, according to a recent NPR story on the dangers of non-organic foods. “There’s a definite lack of evidence,” says researcher Crystal Smith-Spangler, MD at Stanford University School of Medicine. A study reported on differences for pregnant women who ate organic versus those who ate non-organic foods, and the children were found to be no different – no eczema, allergic conditions or autism.
When researchers look at the body of evidence, they find no clear benefits for eating organic food. If you do decide to buy organic, do so carefully and don’t trust the labels. With the inundation of health-conscious parents wading through words like “natural” or “GMO-free”, the “organic” designation is yet another way of charging a premium for products that are no better. Don’t let marketing overwhelm your common sense, especially when one considers the fact that organic food is a waste of money.