Chapter 11 – Organic vs Non Organic: What is the Difference?
Organic contains, on average:
3x more calcium, 5x more magnesium, 3x more potassium, 35x more sodium, 40x more manganese, 500x more iron and 20x more copper.
Organic – Is It Worth the Price?
Lots of people, when asked what ‘organic’ food means to them, will say with scorn “It means more expensive!”
The chart below indicates that eating organic costs $2.89 per day versus $1.87 for non organic, which is 1.5 (154%) more money. Quite a price difference it seems.
But not at all if you remind yourself that, according to the USDA Agri Marketing Service: organic food outpaces conventional in terms of mineral levels by 86 times!
Minerals Fight Toxins?
Stripped down to the basics, a toxin is a poisonous substance produced within living cells or organisms. (2) However, use of the word has become more general.
In the context of human health, toxin is used to describe substances detrimental to health, such as pesticides, insecticides, toxic metals and PCBs in plastics, to everyday food items like refined sugar or additives such as monosodium glutamate
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that environmental toxins are linked to numerous health problems such as obesity, cancer, thyroid problems, hormone issues, autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity in children, as well as other mental illness including violent behavior. Heart disease and diabetes risk is increased with exposure to toxins. Some evidence shows children to be at most risk from environmental toxins. (2)
70 percent of American women over the age of 50 have been found with problematic levels of cadmium. Estimates are that this increases risk for osteoporosis by 40 percent (and may be a contributing factor for one fifth of osteoporosis cases for that age group) and myocardial infarction by 80 percent. Current science indicates that arsenic more than doubles risk of diabetes. (3)
What Nutrients Protect You From
|Arsenic||Selenium; Iodine; Calcium; Zinc; Vitamin C; Sulfur; Amino Acids (in garlic, hen’s eggs, and beans)|
|Cadmium||Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin C, Amino Acids, Sulfur|
|Lead||Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Amino Acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Sulfur|
|Mercury||Vitamin C, Selenium, Pectin, Sulfur Amino Acids|
Cooking, Freezing, and Canning on Minerals
The results of a study looking at how processing, storage, and cooking of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables affects nutrient levels indicate that minerals (as well as carotenoids, vitamin E) are “generally similar in comparable fresh and processed products.” (4)
A second study also found that there is only marginal mineral difference between fresh or frozen vegetables.
However, Aloysa Hourigan from Nutrition Australia comments on the effect of air and light on produce. “If you have had things that were fresh sitting around on supermarket shelves for a while, they can start to lose some of their nutritional value just from exposure to air and light.”
- Ruth L. Pike and Myrtle L. Brown. Nutrition: An Integrated Approach. John Wiley & Sons, 1984 l, p. 283