Organics definitely are more expensive and some people claim that they are far superior, especially when it comes to a cancer prevention lifestyle . . . but is there any truth to these claims? Let’s get into the nitty gritty and uncover the truth about organics.
Conventional vs Organic: Pesticide Use
One of the biggest arguments against conventional produce is that they use pesticides . . . but . . .
so does organic produce. The difference is the type of pesticide used. Conventional produce uses man-made pesticides, but organic produce mostly uses natural pesticides and may have some exposure to synthetic pesticides. Organics have an allowance of 5% or less of synthetic pesticides – they consider this “unintentional” and not within a violation of the organic standard. In other words, organic does not mean pesticide or synthetic pesticide free. Even if there are signs stating “no spray, organic farming”, they do in fact still spray with their pesticides.
Safety of Conventional vs Organic Produce
When it comes to chemicals, the dose makes the poison, so something is not necessarily more or less harmful because it is natural or not. The amount of pesticides used in conventional produce are well below the established EPA safety guidelines. Whether they use natural or synthetic pesticides does not automatically mean it is toxic or not. It all comes down to the dose of the ingested chemicals, which we know are regularly evaluated and within safe levels on conventional produce. Just make sure you rinse produce under running water to clean it before consuming to reduce bacterial exposure.
“But isn’t natural still better?”
The argument that something is superior because it is “natural” is known as a naturalistic fallacy. In other words, it is not a valid argument. This fear of anything “unnatural” has been used to argue against modern medicine and advances in science because it is “not natural”. Remember guys . . . poison ivy is natural, but it is still harmful.
The Dirty Dozen
This list uses fear mongering to frighten the consumer and encourage them to buy these foods in organic; however, these “dirty” produce have a low amount of pesticide residue on them. You could actually eat pounds and pounds of these produce and STILL not be in any danger! You will not be eating pounds of unwashed produce in one sitting anyways, but this is to show you that even the produce with a higher amount of pesticide residue is well below the level that would be considered dangerous for humans to consume. This is actually good news again as it shows that our food is being evaluated for safety and continues to pass these evaluations! YAY! More fruits and veggies for cancer prevention!
Consuming Conventional Beats Consuming No Produce
Organic produce can be expensive and may lead people to reduce their total intake of fruits and vegetables since they have limited funds and may only be able to buy a few organic items. Most people struggle to meet their daily recommended intake for fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods anyways. It is far better to consume conventional produce rather than a reduced amount or even none at all.
Despite the widespread perception that organically produced foods are more nutritious than conventional alternatives, they are not. Studies have shown conventional and organic have the same nutritional content. Conventional produce AND organic produce are packed with fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals that help to support your body before, during, and after cancer treatment!
What Will You Choose?
If organic is your jam and it fits within your budget, that’s great! Some people prefer to buy local produce or grow food themselves to cut back on the environmental effects of transferring the food. Maybe you are trying to support sustainable farming practices and small businesses in your area. There is no shame in buying and enjoying organic produce. If it is something that just does not fit within your budget, then there is no need to stress! Choose either to get all those benefits that fruits and veggies have to offer!
Overall, MORE fruits and vegetables are best when it comes to cancer prevention. These can be organic, conventional, frozen, canned, so long as it works for you and you actually eat it! Pick your produce based on your preferences, appearance of the produce, and price, and remove the guilt from the grocery trip!
Hey there! If you are interested in learning more about how to nourish yourself without the fear and guilt, click here to check out my Cancer Simplified monthly membership!
- Pesticide Data Program. Pesticide Data Program | Agricultural Marketing Service. (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2022, from https://www.ams.usda.gov/datasets/pdp
- The Federal Register. Federal Register :: Request Access. (n.d.). Retrieved June 10, 2022, from https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-7/part-205/subpart-g
- Winter, C. K., & Katz, J. M. (2011, May 15). Dietary exposure to pesticide residues from commodities alleged to contain the highest contamination levels. Journal of Toxicology. Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jt/2011/589674/
- Hey mainstream media, please stop promoting EWG’s ‘dirty dozen’. American Council on Science and Health. (2020, May 27). Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/04/12/hey-mainstream-media-please-stop-promoting-ewgs-dirty-dozen-12828
- Entine, J. (2019, February 9). Viewpoint: Do organic farms really produce ‘chemical free, Healthier Food’? Genetic Literacy Project. Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2019/02/07/viewpoint-do-organic-farms-really-produce-chemical-free-healthier-food/
- RiskMonger, P. by. (2020, September 2). The risk-monger’s dirty dozen – 12 highly toxic pesticides approved for use in organic farming. Monger. Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://risk-monger.com/2016/04/13/the-risk-mongers-dirty-dozen-12-highly-toxic-pesticides-approved-for-use-in-organic-farming/
This blog is not intended as medical nutrition therapy, medical advice, or diagnosis and should in no way replace consultation or recommendations from your medical professional.