Produce aside, what about meat, dairy and eggs? The research available is inconsistent at best. However, studies have shown higher amounts of Omega-3s, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in organic vs. conventional meats, dairy and eggs. North American diets are recognized to be too low in the essential omega-3 fatty acids, so eating organic could go a long way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients. As for antibiotic residues, organic products are lower and are also less likely to contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria which pose a real threat to human health.
While Canada prohibits the use of hormones like recumbent bovine growth hormone, xenoestrogens can still be present in meat from the use of synthetic pesticides from commercially raised meat and bi-products. Like antibiotics, fat-soluble pesticides used to produce chicken feed have been shown to transfer to chicken tissues and eggs. We then consume these pesticide residues when we eat the animal product. Pesticides, hormones and other toxins tend to concentrate in the fat tissue, so eating organic may be a wise choice especially when choosing a fattier cut of meat. When we ingest these toxins, they are also stored in our fat tissues which can compound over time, particularly if you don’t have a healthy detoxification system.
In the end, it remains that eating organic does reduce exposure to pesticide residues and has been shown to have higher amounts of some essential nutrients. So it is in our best interest to choose that organic apple whenever possible, especially when consuming these foods. At the very least, shop locally and get to know the good people who are growing the food. For a list of local Ontario farmers’ and organic markets, click here.