The Organic Myth Makes a Plant-Based Diet Less Accessible
Stop buying the organic myth! For years, people interested in healthy eating have been pressured into buy expensive organic food in the mistaken belief that doing so is worth the substantial extra cost.
Most of the time, organic food is overpriced, and it’s definitely not necessary to eat organic in order to have a healthy diet. The sad truth is that organic food is not more nutritious, and it often contains pesticides that are sometimes worse for us than those used in conventional produce. Organic food results in substantially lower crop yields for a number of fruits and vegetables, strawberries being a notable exception.
False emphasis on buying organic compromises people’s health
Most of this wouldn’t be so bad, except the emphasis on organic means that many people buy these foods at the cost of their health. You see, organic food is more expensive, and people are often forced to buy fewer fruits and vegetables. Or, they give up entirely on eating healthfully, figuring it’s something only rich people can afford to do. In fact, in Dr. John McDougall’s latest book, The Starch Solution, he advises people not to buy organic if it means eating a single serving less of fruits or vegetables.
Buy as much produce as you can, and don’t worry if it doesn’t have a trendy label. And thanks to research done by the Annals of Internal Medicine, you can also rest assured that conventionally grown foods are every bit as nutritious.
Organic doesn’t mean pesticide-free
There’s a false belief, held by many, that if a food is organic, that automatically means pesticide-free. The truth is, organic farmers can use pesticides as long as they’re considered “natural” in origin.
Of course, as anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of chemistry can attest, natural does not always mean safe. After all, cyanide is natural.
Many organic farmers use a pesticide called Rotenone. Rotenone is considered “safe” and “organic” because of its natural origin. In nature, rotenone can be found in the roots and stems of certain subtropical plants. But new research demonstrates that rotenone is actually extraordinarily toxic, even more so than most conventional pesticides. This is because rotenone works by attacking the mitochondria of pests’ cells. And of course, it doesn’t just affect pests – it affects all fauna. Worse yet, Rotenone causes Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms in rats, and it can also kill humans. Plus, the runoff of rotenone into the soil can kill fish. And it isn’t very effective at killing pests, so farmers use it in much higher quantities, resulting in even more pollution!
Buy from local farmers when possible, but stop glorifying organic labeling
I think supporting small farmers is wonderful, so this isn’t meant in any way as a slight against small growers. But many of them can’t afford organic certification anyway, and it’s much better to support them than to subsidize a certification system that is dubious at best and predatory at worst. Shop your local Farmers Market when you can. Buy the freshest, most local food you can comfortably afford, and let go of the labels. Your wallet – and your health – will thank you.
Thanks so much for watching,