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Food for the Holidays: Pass the Organic Please

December 3, 2013
Brian Carrigan

With the holidays just around the corner, most of us are probably going to enjoy our share of delicious foods and some of us are probably going to enjoy more than our share.

And when we’re not eating, we’re likely to be sitting around a table and parsing various subjects, one of which could well be: Are organic foods really the best approach to health and wellness?

Well, it probably depends on who you ask. Advocates of organic and naturally-grown foodstuffs will no doubt tout the virtues of their bounty, while others will ask “What’s the big deal?” or perhaps even take a militant stance against said foods.

Perhaps the best argument for the organic approach is that the foods you eat will have less of what refers to as“an environmental footprint.” And with no herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and other additives, studies have indicated that organic foods possess higher levels of nutrition.

But other research suggests there’s little to no scientific evidence to support the idea that organic foods are better for you. Last September, Dr. David Katz in U.S. News & World Report wrote on a study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine that indicates that organic food isn’t more nutritious than conventionally-grown food and there’s no proof that organic foods provide any kind of health benefit. They also are not any more disposed to bacterial contamination.

Perhaps this might not be a good dinnertime conversation topic after all.

That being said, there are many who find organic foods to taste better and there can be no disagreement that organic food production is easier on the planet. And the U.S. News & World Report story – which helpfully points out that “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean “nutritious” – suggests that we can infer that organic food is “likely to be better for health” unless someone (or some study) proves otherwise.

The purpose of this piece is not to glorify organic food, nor to rebuke conventionally- produced food – it merely stands as a vehicle for further conversation and further study. If you’re not sure which path to pursue, have a serious talk with your healthcare professional to discern what they feel is the best way to eat.
And enjoy the pumpkin pie!

Keeping the promise.,

Brian Carrigan

Food for the Holidays: Pass the Organic Please
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Food for the Holidays: Pass the Organic Please
Brian Carrigan is the Founder and Co-Manager of Remain At Home Healthcare. He frequently writes and speaks about senior-related issues.

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