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Old April 24 2013, 11:55 PM   #49
thestrangequark
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Re: Shopping for healthier food. Need Help.

Kenbushway wrote: View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions, I will definitely pay attention to herbs and spices over fats for flavoring. I didn't pay much attention to the pasta's on here so I can understand turning away from the spaghetti one. I went with this site because it wasn't asking for fancy ingredients(like all recipes/food network) For the most point what we eat now is all packaged so eating actual food is healthier in my view. I know what you are talking about with organic vs regular; its not the nutrition its the shit put in the soil that people worry about. Overall not having synthetic chemicals in your system is better.
Everything is chemicals, dear. The "organic" versus traditional is a very complex debate, but really, it's nothing you have to worry about in regards to your health. In a very well-conducted systematic review, the only difference found between organic and traditional produce was a possible slightly lower amount of exposure to inorganic pesticides on organic produce, though none of the studies reviewed amounts of organic pesticides, and the amount of pesticide on traditional produce was well below safety limits. Remember, the idea that some things are "natural" and some are "chemical" is a false dichotomy, and the idea that something "natural" is automatically good for you is an Appeal to Nature, and not true.
"Organic" as a label in the US doesn't tell you anything about the healthfulness of the food item. What it does tell you is that the farm where the food came from adhered to a list of completely unrelated standards that fall under the legal umbrella term "organic." This is more about politics and marketing than anything else.

That's not to say that all practices labeled "organic" are arbitrary. Some of the agricultural practices under that umbrella term are better for the environment, but the lobbying and litigation involved in labeling mean you never really know what you're getting -- as I said before, the label is all about making you pay more, not about your health or the environment's. So, if you really care about sustainable practices and really are scared of "chemicals" (but again, everything is chemicals, and traditional produce are perfectly safe and healthful), then you need to research the farms from where you buy and choose biodiverse, sustainable farms. This is very time consuming, though. If all you're worried about is your health, and you see a bag of apples for $.99/lb and a bag of organic apples for $2.99/lb, get the cheaper bag. The difference in your health comes from eating fresh apples as a snack over frozen apple fritters, not from eating "organic" apples over traditional apples.
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