Friday, April 08, 2011

Study suggests that food grown with pesticides has more vitamins than food grown organically.

I blogged about not assuming that organic produce is necessarily healthier for you. My point was that if you have a tight budget, you should determine which organic produce is worth any extra cost and which is not. For example, the thick, inedible skins of avocados provide a natural barrier against pesticides, and it is not worth it to pay more for organically grown avocados. Peaches, with their ultra-thin skins are another story. The flesh of the peach does absorb pesticides, and, not only that, people do eat the skins, which often have been dusted with pesticides. Thus, it might be worth paying more to obtain organically grown peaches

Here's an article I found this morning, though, that surprises me. It suggests that produce grown with pesticides actually contains more vitamins than food grown organically!

I don't know why this suggestion completely surprised me when I first saw the headline of the article. My father spent his whole career in the agricultural chemical business, and, in some respects, I am my father's daughter. I do understand that the use of synthetic fertilizers and some pesticides has increased agricultural production, thus providing many more people with affordable and plentiful food. In the U. S., diseases of malnutrition were once common in areas with poor and over-worked soils. To some extent, the development of agricultural chemical solutions has eliminated poor soils, pests that used to wipe out some crops, and the like.

However, I also yearn for fruits and vegetables grown in soil that has been naturally supplemented and renewed, as well as food grown with only naturally produced and non-toxic pesticides. (Naturally produced and non-toxic are not one in the same.) I also know that just as pesticides have solved some health problems, they have created others. I am not a fan of some "scientific" approaches to agriculture. I am concerned about how some additives are interacting with the hormones of both the men and the women of all ages who consume them. So, I do tend to give "organic" foods the benefit of the doubt. I instinctively think of them as being healthier, even though I know that this is not always the case.

So, now, we have another variable to weigh: extra vitamins/pesticides. Of course, I think we shouldn't determine anything based on one study that is picked up in the media. So, the jury is still out as far as I'm concerned.

What do you think? I'd love to hear.



Tilia said...

Interesting theory but I don't really buy it. I believe we are poisoning our earth and ourselves with all these pesticides. While most organic food is to expensive for me at the moment, it is my goal to eat almost completely organic, at least when it comes to vegetables and fruit.

Tilia of Linden blossoms in my tea

Elizabeth said...

Hi Tilia,

Thanks for weighing in on the discussion!
Like you, I have to weigh budget vs. the price of organic, but would like to make some healthful choices.