Organic products are no healthier than non-organics according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Organic produce tends to have a higher cost than that of non-organic products and has been widely accepted as a healthier alternative. But the new four year project that reviewed 240 previous studies on contaminant and nutrition has brought that school of thought under question.
"I know it's controversial but I don't really know why," says Heather Boline, a registered dietitian with Freeman Health. "It's really just a personal preference and if people are worried that they aren't going to be getting the nutrition from the non-organic they shouldn't worry."
The study shows no significant difference in nutritional value, but according to a Joplin health food store owner that does not mean less pesticides, which is why she will still buy organic.
"The fact that they did notice a 30% difference in the amount of pesticides on the food that weren't spray, or that were sprayed, that's what's huge for my customers or even myself," says Suzanne Nelson, the owner of Suzanne's Natural Foods. "I just don't want to eat foods that has pesticides on it."
Jamey Smith owns the Mohaska Farm House restaurant and says his customers are split about 50-50 when it comes to organic food. As for a nutrition debate, he says it's more about how you treat the product that brings a distinction in his mind.
"It depends on who it is and what organic means to somebody else, but as far as how you treat the property, and the soil, that's really the key element I think," says Smith.
According to Freeman Health, some fruits and vegetables are more susceptible to pesticides than others, such as spinach or strawberries. And while the nutritional value is the same, Freeman says it comes down to a personal preference.
Freeman says there are some illnesses in which an organic diet is important. But unless prescribed by a doctor, it doesn't matter whether or not fruit and vegetables are organic, just that they are eaten.