New study provokes debate on benefits of organic food

by Kate Stoltzfus for Flavor 574
August 12, 2014
At Maple City Market, walk down any aisle and hundreds of products – salad dressing, tomatoes, onions, sugar, pasta, soda – will proclaim in prominent letters their most important factor: organic.
The trend isn’t a new one. Most shoppers, even those who don’t frequent co-ops like Maple City or buy organic products, are used to seeing the buzzword on packages for foods grown without certain pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified ingredients.
But a continued debate of whether or not organic food is really that much better for consumers’ health saw a new spike of attention after a new study published in July.
Is organic food really more beneficial than non-organic?
The findings, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that organic crops are up to 60 percent higher in certain antioxidants and have lower levels of toxic heavy metals (almost 50% lower cadmium, for instance) than non-organic food.
Still, more people are buying organic, especially in Michiana. Maple City Market in Goshen has seen consistent or growing sales in the last several years, carrying only local or organic produce, as well as a majority of organic products.