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Is organic better?

Hello December! This is the final blog for 2021, which means we have been learning all the cool science things together for an entire year! I figured I finish the year off with the little wrap up on nutrition I eluded to in November’s blog and give a nod to organic farming practices all at the same time. Last month we watched a video about mental health and micronutrients and it begs the question, “Why do we need to supplement? And why aren’t we getting enough of these micronutrients in our food?” There are many factors, so many that there is not one correct answer, but one of the answers could be the lack of nutritional quality of the foods we are eating. And I’m not just talking about the general issues with the Standard American Diet (SAD), I’m talking about the nutrient dense foods a lot of us focus on eating in an effort to boost our health.

Research over the past 30-50 years is indicating that the nutritional quality of our food may be decreasing. The factors for this are numerous; depleted soils, cultivating plants for productivity vs nutritional quality, animal feed, and chemical use in growing and preserving our food. I don’t plan to give you an answer to this issue, but I am going to give you a very long (like 104 pages) article that summarizes a lot of research (like 20 pages of reference articles) which indicates that conventional farming practices may be part of our issue. Your new friends at the Estonian University of Life Sciences have done a lot of work to summarize a lot of solid research about nutritional differences in organic and conventional foods. So take a gander and if you want a quick synopsis jump to page 80.

The most interesting topic to me was the marked increase in Omega-3 fatty acids (see page 51 and 58) of organic milk and meats vs conventional. My farmer brain says yes! Treat your animals better and they will nourish us better. My visceral manipulation physical therapist brain also says yes! Maybe my patients with gut issues will be able to tolerate foods better if they are of higher quality.

I hope this article stimulates your brain, as well as your appetite. Click on the link below to access the article (you will need to download the PDF format to access the full article).

Take home message: the way a food is raised may be just as important as the type of food you eat.

To all of my readers, I wish you Happy Holidays and a joy-filled New Year! Thank you for spending a year with me. I hope to see you in 2022!

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