The Hidden Danger in Organic Food

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organic foodSure, organic food is all natural and free of chemicals and things you can't pronounce or find outside a chemist's lab, but that doesn't mean it's good for you. In fact, a new study proves what many of us know (somewhere deep, deep inside our hemp-shirt sporting self) -- organic doesn't equal a free license to eat whatever we want. In other words, there's plenty of organic crap out there that can make us fat.

The problem with fat- and calorie-laden organic food is that we trick ourselves with it. Just being in Whole Foods makes me feel healthier, so surely if they carry chocolate truffles, one (or 32) can't be bad for me. Who needs moderation when it comes to pure, wholesome, food that looks so pretty -- and nourishes your body! The fact that it's so flippin' expensive means it must be packed with nutrition, right?

Researchers have a term for this power of organic food: The Halo Effect. This latest study found people believe -- incorrectly -- that food deemed organic has less fat and calories and more fiber ... so bye, bye guilt, hello obesity?

It's easy to see how it can happen with some of the incredibly delicious organic foods out there. Here are a few I have the hardest time resisting:

pepperoni pizza

Pepperoni pizza. Just because there are no scary nitrates in it doesn't mean there's no grease or fat. This Wild Harvest Organic Pepperoni Pizza contains 410 calories and 19 grams of fat -- and that's for just half of it. For me, the fact that it's organic would give me plenty of justification to eat the whole thing.

organic candy bar

Organic candy bars. Add the health benefit of dark chocolate, and eating these kinds of candy bars feels like taking one's medicine. That might be fine in small doses, but who can stop when there are sea salt and almonds in the mix?

organic potato chips

Organic potato chips. These are just mean. The last thing I need is any encouragement to eat potato chips. Throw in the organic French onion dip, and forget it.

Yes, everything in moderation, and we can all read labels and all that business, but even more willpower than ever is needed in the face of tempting organic fare. Be strong, resist, or face not fitting into your skinny jeans -- whether they're made of organic material or not.

Do you eat more "junk food" when it's organic?


Images via (from top to bottom) via All Organic/Flickr, wildharvestorganic.com, amazon.com, amazon.com

eco-friendly, food

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jagam... jagamama0710

Are there really people who believe that organic food means you can eat more? Sorry, but I don't feel sorry for you if you've fallen prey to this. Sure it might be harder on the will power but don't blame the food or the organic label, blame yourself. And it hardly means that organic is bad, it just means people need to realize that organic or not, you can not eat a whole chocolate cake at once. 

Ursul... Ursula187

I love the Michael Pollan approach: Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.  And that applies to whether you are eating mostly organic or mostly conventional or mostly home-grown.  

Ashley Castillo

Just stay out of those aisles completely. I don't buy organic food, but in my regular grocery store, I stay out of the chips/snacks and the frozen food section. Sticking to the perimeter is a good rule of thumb, although not foolproof. (Hello bakery!)

bills... billsfan1104

I am doing weight watchers right now and I thought that if I went to the oraganic aisle, I would get more for my points. Nope. The frozen veggie organic pizza is the same point value as a regular veggie pizza. Its all about moderation for anything. That is why I love Weight Watchers. I can eat what I want, but I learned moderation. I have lost 15.4lbs so far and I keep going.

nonmember avatar KMac

This reminds me of when I used to watch Jon & Kate Plus 8, and Kate made several comments to the effect that the ONLY candy her children were allowed was organic lollipops. I thought that was hilarious. They're still LOLLIPOPS, crazy lady!

vanes... vanessa5470

lol...yeah I'm going to have to agree with previous posts, you fell prey to marketing.


Regardless of WHAT you're eating, moderation is key.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Agree with "MODERTION"!!!! Organic or not!



Billsfan1104 congrats and keep it up!

bills... billsfan1104

TY Jalaz. I am soooo excited. I want to be down another 50lbs, and I love this program. Its not a diet, it is a lifestyle change for me.

Madel... MadelynMc

It definitely has less to do with calories and fat (which in all reality don't mean much) and more to do with ingredients. I challenge you to compare ingredients on two frozen pizzas - one organic and one Tombstone. There is (usually) a pretty big difference. You'd be hard pressed to find a pizza that doesn't have a bunch of chemicals in it that's not labeled organic or in the "natural" food aisle. That being said, sugar is sugar. Crap is crap. Eat real food.

elfis... elfishpirat

God...the same people who believe that Organic= Low cal are probably the same people who smoked "light" cigarettes because they thought they were healthier. Can we cut the stupidity in this country already? Learn to read labels! Organic is healthier because it's pesticide-free. If you are going to eat junk food, yes, buy organic, but eat in moderation and eat mostly whole grains, fruits, veggies, etc. UGH. Common sense...

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