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Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Does it pay to buy or­ganic?

Most peo­ple who swear by or­ganic pro­duce say that food free of chem­i­cal pes­ti­cides and fer­tilis­ers tastes bet­ter, but can it re­ally add years to our lives? The jury’s still out.

In a 2014 UK study, one of the largest on this topic to date, or­ganic food gave women no more pro­tec­tion from can­cer than healthy con­ven­tional foods did.

Other re­search re­veals that the qual­ity of or­ganic pro­duce varies sig­nif­i­cantly. In a 2014 UK study, or­ganic foods had up to 70 per cent more an­tiox­i­dants; how­ever, in a 2010 US study, or­ganic car­rots, onions and pota­toes had no more an­tiox­i­dants than regular veg­eta­bles.

Con­fused? So are most shop­pers, who of­ten think, mis­tak­enly, that the word

or­ganic in­di­cates a lighter en­ergy load. (When peo­ple ate cook­ies with an ‘or­ganic’ la­bel for US re­search, they thought they were eat­ing 40 per cent less kilo­joules.)

If you want to go or­ganic and can af­ford the 20 per cent price hike, go for it. But see­ing as most of us fail to eat enough fruit and veg, re­gard­less of pro­duc­tion meth­ods, we think that eat­ing more of the regular stuff is an even bet­ter step to­wards good health!

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