Buying organic – is it worth it? Well, we’re so glad you asked!
We believe that yes, if it aligns with your goals and lifestyle, buying organic is worth it. Ultimately the decision is yours, and we can break it all down so that you can make a well-informed choice.
For a product to be labelled as ‘organic’, it has to be:
Pro tip: Look out for the ‘Certified Organic’ sticker or label – there are six certification bodies in Australia.
It’s clear that buying organic exposes us to fewer chemical pesticides and more antioxidants. However, if we buy an organic kiwi fruit from Italy, will it be healthier for us (and the environment) than an apple from a local farm? Probably not. It’s travelled a long way, adding to food miles. On top of that, vitamins in foods begin to deteriorate as soon as produce is picked. Research indicates that within 7-10 days, some 70% of the nutritional value of the vegetable is lost. So, by the time that kiwi has reached us, there’s probably little Vitamin C left. Take a look at some other facts about the organic food industry below:
Source for 6-8: The Australian Organic Market Report (2021)
Everyone has different goals, therefore the benefits of buying organic will differ from person to person. We’ll dive into the wider-reaching benefits below, but there’s plenty more beyond this list!
Buying organic means:
Yes, sometimes organic produce costs more than regular produce – however, there are several ways that you can buy organic and stay within your budget!
*If you want to buy in bulk but are worried about food waste, why not split it with someone? Or cooking in bulk then freezing some meals? Or making juice, a stir-fry, healthy snacks, or any other recipes that you can throw a heap of ingredients into.
Prioritise buying organic for foods that you eat with skin (apples, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens etc.) – typically, this is the produce that retains the most pesticide*. Buying organic when it comes to meat, poultry, and dairy foods is also worth a thought. Why? Because chemicals accumulate up the food chain, meaning you end up consuming chemicals that your food sources consumed.
*The Environmental Working Group in the US releases an annual guide to pesticide residue on fresh produce (see below). Foods with the least pesticide residue are often those foods with inedible thick skins – such as mangoes, pineapples and avocados.
Choose organic: Apples, capsicum, celery, cherries, grapes, peaches, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes cucumbers
The best non-organic choices: Asparagus, avocados, cauliflower, corn, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, mangoes, onions, pineapples, sweet peas
At the end of the day, only you know whether buying organic will suit your lifestyle – but we believe that the benefits add up and ultimately, it’s about eating in a healthier and more environmentally-friendly way. Who doesn’t love that?
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Health Survey, 2011-2012.
Australian Organic Market Report, 2021.
Barański, M. et al (2014) Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses British Journal of Nutrition.
Rickman, J. et al (2007) Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. Part 1. Vitamins C and B and phenolic compounds Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
Średnicka-Tober, D. et al (2016) Higher PUFA and n-3 PUFA, conjugated linoleic acid, α-tocopherol and iron, but lower iodine and selenium concentrations in organic milk: a systematic literature review and meta- and redundancy analyses.
Sophie Scott is passionate about nutrition, fitness and behaviour change coaching. As a Registered Nutritionist and Environmental Scientist, she takes a wholistic approach to nutrition, focusing on people’s relationship with food and driving a shift to a healthier approach to eating.
With more than 12 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, Sophie has supported hundreds of women along their health journey through her business, fitandfed.
Sophie is an enthusiastic nutrition teacher and accomplished course creator at Endeavour College of Natural Health, inspiring the next wave of nutrition and wellness professionals.
"It’s never too late to learn something new and incorporate it into your life."
- Lindy Smithies
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