Friday, April 30, 2010

Organic's "healthy halo"

Cornell Professor Brian Wansink's latest research finds that organic foods have a "healthy halo" causing overeating. An organic food which is free of synthetic materials used in processing may be safer to eat if handled properly and eaten quickly, but defining a food as organic certainly does not give us license to eat a food without moderation. Organic foods can be healthier than non-organic foods in some respects because of how they are grown or processed but do not have more nutrients than naturally occur in that food and need to be eaten soon after harvest and in appropriate quantities. Organic does not tell us how healthy a given food is, it just says it is grown or formulated in a certain way with certain standards.

Importantly, organic certainly doesn't mean a food is low calorie. If we give ourselves permission to overeat when we choose organic foods are we defeating our purpose at least to some extent?

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About Me

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First trained as a food chemist and nutritionist, my career began enriching a Twinkie, comparing the nutrition of a Twinkie to an apple and studying the role of sugar in the diet. With an M.B.A. and years in food and pharma understanding consumers and manufacturers, I'm back to where I started - food should taste great and serve to keep us healthy. To do so, there needs to be consumer awareness. Consumers need to vote for what they want by buying what they really want. If they buy impulsively, that's what they will see more of. They need to practice balance and responsible choices. That's when change will come. Please engage me with your conversation so that I can help you make and stick to better food choices that you enjoy. You'll gain a deeper appreciation of food not only from farm to table but farm to health. My vision is to promote solutions for healthful food and food practices you can happily embody and embrace!