Science News

Organic Food - 40% Dearer, 0% Better

Sat, 6th Apr 2002

Part of the show Forensic Archaeology - Dr. Corinne Duhig

Organically produced foods are often 40% more expensive than their non-organically produced counterparts and people often buy them in the mistaken belief that they are 'healthier' and 'purer' than the alternative. In Britain, Europe's largest organic consumer, last year we spent over 800 million pounds on organic produce, and over 50% of British households bought at least one organic item. But don't be misled, organic doesn't mean better. A survey carried out this week by consumer watchdog Which? magazine found that many organic products are no better, or may even be worse for you, than non-organic varieties because they contain more flavourings or sugar. In the study, Tescos organic cola contained the same amount of sugar as Coca-Cola, whilst Sainsbury's Blue Parrot Café Organic Apple and Strawberry juice Drink contained chiefly water, 10% fruit juice, sugar and flavourings. In the case of fruits and vegetables, not using pesticides can allow the growth of moulds and other bugs which produce toxic and cancer-causing substances that can subsequently get into the food. So the moral of this story is, don't be misled by the idea that organic food is 'healthier' or 'more nutritious', read the labels carefully first - it could save you a lot of money.


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