Organic Is Not A Fad

The organic debate is a heated one:

Is it really any better?

Does it really make a difference?

Is it worth the money?

Yes, yes and yes.

But, don’t take our word for it. Let’s talk numbers.

A groundbreaking meta-analysis found organic produce to be:

In terms of organic animal products:

Basically, organic produce and animal products are higher in antioxidants and omega 3 fats and lower in pesticides and heavy metals. Why should you care?

Aside from the broad health benefits of antioxidants and omega 3 fats and the potential health detriments of pesticides and heavy metals, these factors are particularly relevant for fertility and pregnancy because...

Antioxidants boost egg and sperm health: Both egg and sperm quality can be improved by key antioxidants (e.g., CoQ10, vitamin E), which reduce oxidative stress.

Omega 3 fats support cardiovascular, immune and neurodevelopmental health: Omega-3s are linked to a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk as well as an improvement in neurological and immune development and function. They also support a baby’s brain development during pregnancy.

Pesticides are linked to low sperm parameters: One study found that “ who ate greater amounts of fruits and vegetables with higher levels of pesticide residue...had 49 percent lower sperm count and 32 percent lower percentage of normal sperm than men who ate the least...”. In addition, several studies have found elevated rates of infertility among farm workers exposed to high amounts of pesticides.

Excess heavy metal levels are linked to fertility challenges: High heavy metal levels have been shown to impair fertility in both men and women, including an association with repeat miscarriages.

I hope it’s clear that the benefits of organic food are substantial.

Beyond that, I think it’s important to recognize that the “organic” distinction is relatively new one. A few hundred years ago, EVERYTHING was organic. Our ancestors were all eating organic produce and animal products - that’s all there was. Their food was unadulterated by pesticides and antibiotics and hormones and genetic modification. Food was No distinctions, delineations or labels.

In fact, there is nothing “conventional” about conventional produce and animal products. We didn’t evolve eating pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and GMO’s. These are all relatively new to our system...and we aren’t assimilating them so well.

So, I’d invite you to reframe this discussion about organic. It’s not really a question of whether organic is better for our bodies or not. It’s a question of public policy (how our agricultural standards and subsidies will evolve) and a question of personal choice (how you choose to spend your agricultural dollars).

And, until we have more widespread policy changes, it’s up to you to decide how much of a priority organic food will be in your spending budget. This will be different for everyone and will depend on several variables (e.g., access to organic food, price constraints, health status). It's not about being 100% organic 100% of the time...but it is about being an informed consumer and making proactive choices with the information and resources that you do have.