Organic Foods

Feb 8th, 2012 | By | Category: More dental news, Preventive Dentistry

organic foodsBy now you know that healthy foods contribute to your overall body health and the health of your teeth and gums, but are organic foods better than conventionally-produced foods? Unlike years ago, organic foods are now readily available in your local supermarket, but they also carry a higher price tag. Are they worth it? Knowing the facts about organic foods can help you decide.

What is organic food?

To be labeled organic, a food has to be produced according to strict standards laid out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For crops, these standards include no use of conventional pesticides, ionizing radiation, or synthetic fertilizers. For an animal product to be labeled organic, the animals must eat organic feed and not be injected with antibiotics or growth hormones. They must also have access to large open spaces for grazing.

Is organic food safer than conventionally produced food?

When it comes to pesticides, the answer is a resounding “yes.” You will not be exposed to pesticide residues on organic produce like you would with conventionally-produced plants. The same is true for exposure to the antibiotics and hormones that can be found in conventional meats and dairy products. However, when it comes to contamination from bacteria such as E. coli, the evidence is inconclusive. The natural manure used to fertilize organic plants contains more dangerous bacteria than synthetic fertilizers. However, there is no strong evidence that organic produce causes more E. coli outbreaks than conventional produce. In fact, many cases of this type of contamination originate after the food has left the farm due to improper handling, so the chances of an outbreak with either type of food are about the same.

How can organic food improve my health?

Some studies have reported that organic foods are higher in certain vitamins or minerals, but other studies claim the difference is negligible. However, all experts agree on one thing: fresh foods have higher amounts of nutrients and simply taste better. Foods lose their nutrients over time, so the longer that piece of fruit sits on a supermarket shelf, the less beneficial it is to your overall health. This fact presents a strong case for buying locally-produced foods. If you can buy local fruits, vegetables, and meats that are also organic, you’ll have a winning combination of more nutrients and fewer artificial chemicals.

Are there other benefits to organic foods?

When you choose organic foods, the environment benefits greatly. Pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and antibiotics accumulate in the soil and water, and they eventually find their way to our bodies. By supporting organic farming methods, you are not contributing to this type of contamination.

To learn more about how organic foods affect your body and your oral health, contact Dr. Moiceanu at (510) 758-2222 to schedule a consultation. At Hilltop Family Dental, we happily treat patients in Richmond,San Pablo,Vallejo,El Sobrante , Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, and Benicia.
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