Plate-Wise •  4/16/2020

The Green Benefits of Conventional Foods

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Three Sources of Information for Quick Decision Making

Everywhere we go — the grocery store, the farmer’s market, the restaurant down the street — we’re faced with decisions about what food to eat. To help us make those choices, we’re given code words, such as green, which help us determine which foods are nutritious and good for the environment, and which are not.

Fortunately, there are many benefits to all sorts of conventionally-grown foods, not just those labelled green products by clever marketers! We’ve compiled some benefits of conventionally-grown foods to help you make important choices about your meals with peace of mind.

Four Benefits of Conventionally-Grown Foods

  1. Conventionally-grown produce provides the same amount of nutrition as organic crops. Are you the parent stuck in the produce aisle at the grocery store, trying to decide between a bag of regular and organic apples? While organic crops can be beneficial for a variety of reasons, conventionally-grown crops are no less nutritious. In fact, because conventionally-grown crops benefit from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), they sometimes provide more nutritional benefits than their organic counterparts.
  2. Conventional baby food has benefits that homemade baby food doesn’t provide. While we would all love to control every part of our infants’ diets, including the salt, sugar and additives in their food, most of us don’t have the time to make homemade baby food. Fortunately, canned foods spoil far less quickly, and can be just as nutritious, if you know what to look for. Consider canned options with the least amount of ingredients, no added salts or sugars, and more vegetables than fruits. These will put your child on the right path to a properly developed palette.
  3. We can reduce our food waste with conventionally-grown produce. Did you know that organic crops often require more land, water and other resources to produce? While conventionally-grown crops benefit from crop protection products and GMOs, which can work together to increase crop yield and health, thus maximizing what farmers produce with less land, organic crops do not share that luxury.
  4. Processed food helps us preserve the nutritious products we love. Despite what you read, processed isn’t a scary word. In fact, processed simply means that the product has been altered mechanically or chemically to change it, such as freezing, canning or drying. We get some of our most nutritious conventional foods through processing. For example, olive oil is mechanically pressed from olives, while milk is pasteurized to remove harmful bacteria.

Take these insights into consideration, but in the end, every family should make their own choices about what to feed their loved ones.