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Is organic food actually any better for you?

You’ve probably heard a lot of hype about eating organic food, especially as society becomes more and more health-conscious, with once widely enjoyed junk food now frowned upon in certain circles. While we’re still regularly chowing down on packets of pickled onion Monster Munch (#sorrynotsorry), we also like to keep our diet balanced – but should that include organic produce?

“I strongly believe organic food is superior to non-organic food,” says Los Angeles-based holistic nutritionist and personal trainer, Amanda Carneiro[https://www.instagram.com/rawfitnessandnutrition/]. “Organic food contains significantly more antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients than non-organic food. But, regardless of that, food grown in healthier soil without pesticides and insecticides is always going to be the more nutritious choice. We are finding out more and more how toxic these pesticides can be for humans.”

While we agree that consuming pesticides doesn’t sound too healthy and we’d like to avoid it where possible, science hasn’t yet managed to prove any significant nutritional benefits of eating organic over non-organic food. A 2012 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine[http://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/1355685/organic-foods-safer-healthier-than-conventional-alternatives-systematic-review] deemed that the authors “[lack] strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.” That being said, the study did confirm that eating organic lowers your exposure to pesticide residues and the possibility of taking in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can never be a bad thing.

It might seem like organic food is a relatively new craze, but it’s not the concept that’s fresh, just the labelling (and hopefully the produce). “The biggest misconception about organic food is that it’s this woo-woo new-age thing,” says Amanda. “We’ve been eating organic food forever, but we didn’t need to label it ‘organic’, because all food used to be organic. I eat organic food as much I can, but it can be a challenge when eating out. If it’s in my control, I will always choose the restaurants that source organic, farm-to-table produce.”

With more and more conversation around what we’re putting in our food and bodies, will there ever be a time when organic food is more commonplace – and therefore cheaper or at least on a price par with – non-organic food? “I hope so!” says Amanda. “I think we are getting there slowly.”

We’re sure there will be plenty more studies on organic food’s benefits, but until then Amanda has one key takeaway, whether you’re an organic convert or not. “Taking care of myself and my health will always be my top priority,” she says. “Because without it, I can’t accomplish anything.” And that’s something we can all take on-board, no?

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