Do you know nutrition?: Conventionally grown vs. organic, which is better?

Aug. 16, 2011 at 3:16 a.m.

By Phylis Canion

I always hear that eating healthy is more expensive, but each visit I make to the store and price what I call "junk" food, I think it is pretty expensive as well. Do organically grown foods contain more nutrients than conventionally grown foods?

According to studies presented by J. Balch, M.D., here is a breakdown of the healthy minerals contained in organically grown foods: boron, 70 percent higher; calcium, 63 percent higher; chromium, 78 percent higher; iodine, 73 percent higher; iron, 59 percent higher; lithium, 118 percent higher; magnesium, 138 percent higher; phosphorous, 91 percent higher; potassium, 125 percent higher; selenium, 398 higher; and zinc: 60 percent higher.

As compared to toxic minerals in conventionally grown, aluminum is 40 percent higher, lead is 29 percent higher, and Mercury is 25 percent higher.

More than 1 billion pounds of pesticides and herbicides are sprayed on U.S. crops each year. Organic means foods that have not been sprayed with synthetic chemicals and have been grown in safe soils. Because baby foods can be contaminated with pesticides and chemicals, more of the well-known baby food brands are now selling organic as well.

While it is so hot these days, I find myself drinking more water without even being aware of it. What is it about water that quenches my thirst better than sodas and tea?

All living things must have water to survive - there are no substitutes. Every function inside the body is regulated by and depends on water. Water must be available to carry vital elements, oxygen, hormones and chemical messengers to all parts of the body. Water makes up approximately one half of your adult body weight and can only survive a few days without it. (Did you know that at birth, water, accounts for approximately 80 percent of an infant's body weight?) While soft drinks, coffee and tea are almost entirely made up of water, they also contain caffeine. Caffeine acts as a mild diuretic, preventing water from traveling to necessary locations in the body and performing its important job of delivering beneficial nutrients and eliminating toxins. If you are interested in reading more about the benefits of water, I would suggest an excellent book titled, "You Are Not Sick - You Are Thirsty," by F. Batamanghelidj, M.D.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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