End the debate: Is it better to go organic or not? What do you do if you can't afford organic produce?

Organic vs. Inorganic Produce - What's the Healthier Choice?

Welcome to the "Inflamed in the Brain" podcast, hosted by Krissy, your friendly neighborhood dietitian. In this episode, Krissy discusses organic vs. inorganic produce, exploring the differences in farming practices and addressing common questions about their impact on health and the environment. She also dives into a recent controversy involving Bill Gates and edible food coatings designed to keep fruits and vegetables fresh for longer.


Krissy begins by sharing her personal experiences with organic food and the controversy surrounding it, pointing out her grandfather's skepticism. The episode also touches on the Bill Gates controversy involving Apeel Sciences, a company producing edible food coatings. She explains that these coatings are made from monoglycerides and diglycerides, which are common in processed foods and considered safe by the FDA.

Main Points
  1. Understanding Organic vs. Inorganic Farming

    • Organic farming relies on natural techniques, avoiding synthetic chemicals and GMOs. Organic farmers use natural pesticides and herbicides, and practices like crop rotation, composting, and biological pest control to maintain soil health and control pests.
    • Conventional (inorganic) farming uses synthetic chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides to boost crop yield. These practices aim to grow more food faster but raise concerns about environmental impact and health risks.
  2. Is Organic Produce Healthier?

    • Organic produce is grown without synthetic chemicals, reducing potential exposure to harmful substances like glyphosate, a controversial herbicide linked to health risks and inflammation.
    • Conventional produce may contain traces of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, even after washing. Systemic pesticides, absorbed by plants, are challenging to remove. These chemicals may build up in the body, leading to health issues.
  3. Does Washing Produce Remove Pesticides?

    • Washing can remove some surface residues but may not eliminate systemic pesticides absorbed by plants during growth. Cooking methods like boiling and blanching may help reduce pesticide residues but vary in effectiveness depending on the produce and method.
  4. Is Organic Food Better for the Environment?

    • Organic farming avoids synthetic chemicals, reducing soil and water contamination. It supports a more balanced ecosystem by encouraging biodiversity and preventing chemical runoff into rivers and lakes, which can harm wildlife.
    • Conventional farming relies on synthetic chemicals, leading to environmental degradation and loss of soil fertility over time.
Budget-Friendly Tips for Buying Organic

Krissy offers practical advice for buying organic produce without breaking the bank:

  • Buy Seasonal Produce: Organic fruits and vegetables are often cheaper when in season, as there's typically a surplus. This approach also ensures fresher and better-looking produce.
  • Use the Environmental Working Group's Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen Lists: The Clean 15 identifies conventionally grown produce with the least pesticide residue, allowing you to buy them without the organic price tag. The Dirty Dozen highlights produce with high pesticide levels, emphasizing which fruits and veggies to buy organic.
  • Cook Non-Organic Produce: Since cooking can reduce pesticide residues, consider buying conventional produce for cooked dishes and organic for raw consumption.

While organic produce is the healthier choice for both people and the environment, Krissy acknowledges that it can be more expensive due to farming practices that require more attention and labor. She emphasizes that if organic is not affordable, it's still crucial to consume fruits and vegetables, even if they're conventionally grown. These foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support health and aid in the body's natural detoxification process.

Krissy encourages listeners to look for the USDA organic label when purchasing organic produce, as it ensures strict standards, including soil testing, inspections, and the absence of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs.

Useful Resources and Links

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