To organic or not to organic

We're constantly being bombarded with images of so-called fresher organic produce on our Facebook pages claiming organic fruit and veggies are better for your health.

But is buying organic produce actually better for you or is it just an expensive fad?

But Diabetes Queensland credentialled diabetes educator and dietitian Michelle Tong said organic food does not have a higher nutritional value than regular produce.


Vegetables Isolated

In 2009, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reviewed the current research on the nutritional quality of organic versus non-organic foods and found there was no evidence to support the belief that organic produce contains more nutrients than non-organic produce.  The study looked at eleven nutrients including vitamin c, potassium and magnesium.

"For the majority of nutrients, there were no major differences between organic and non-organic crops," said Michelle. 

"The researchers did find non-organic produce contained more nitrogen, and organic produce had more phosphorus, but these differences aren't likely to have a big impact on your health.

"Of course, many people choose organic foods because they prefer the taste or they have the environment in mind.  Just be careful to check where the food was
produced.  An organic product that has travelled interstate or overseas may not be much better for the environment than a locally produced non-organic product."

Michelle's advice: "Choosing organic produce is a personal choice but enjoying organic produce isn't necessarily a better nutritional choice. To maximise your nutrient intake the best thing you can do is enjoy five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit every day."