First it must be stated that “Organic” as it is used to market and label food is a definition that is controlled and certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There are standards and allowances that are associated with the definition, and as such, some foods are not totally pure from an “organic” standpoint, but meet the criteria, so they can be labeled as such. The consumer’s intent in buying organic foods is to get a healthier food, however, the obvious must also be stated, that an “organic” cheese doodle is still not a healthy choice.
One of the most widely accepted benefits of organic produce is that less (or no) potentially harmful chemicals are used in the farming in the form of pesticides and fertilizers. This means that you will not be ingesting these potentially harmful chemicals that can be neuro-toxins (causing nervous system problems). Use of some of these fertilizers can also cause mineral depletion in the soil.
A lesser known, and lesser understood benefit of organic farming lies in the fact that all plants have built in pesticides. Some species have more effective natural pesticides, which interestingly correlate to the vegetables and fruits that are healthier to eat like broccoli. Some of these natural pesticide agents are called phyto-nutrients which are micro cofactors that allow us to absorb the healthy nutrition from the food.
Within a crop of broccoli, for example, there will be healthier and weaker plants. The healthier plants have better self protection (natural pesticide) and thus are likelier to thrive and survive. In organic farming you have a lower yield of the crop, but what does survive is healthier for you. This is a pure example of survival of the fittest. Artificial pesticides, on the other hand, allow for harvesting weaker plants and thus less nutritious produce.
There has been a recent study reported in the news that stated organic food was found to be no more nutritious than traditionally produced food. The problem with the report is they did not state which foods were studied. Highly processed organically grown foods may not be any healthier due to the processing, not necessarily due to the farming methods. As in my earlier example, an organic cheese doodle is not necessarily healthy.