Organic packaged foods have fewer ingredients associated with negative health outcomes than non-organic packaged foods

A new study in the journal Nutrients has found that packaged and processed foods with the USDA Organic label contain fewer ingredients that are linked to negative health outcomes than non-organic processed foods. Specifically, organic foods contained fewer ultra-processed ingredients, less sugar and saturated fat, and lower sodium content. The study considered 8,240 organic and 72,205 conventional foods sold in the U.S. from 2019 to 2020. This study is novel because it considers processed foods that many Americans rely on for convenience, and the research focuses on the characteristics and functions of all ingredients in those foods. In contrast, past scientific studies typically compare the difference between nutritional composition or chemical residue occurrence of conventional versus organic foods, and these foods are usually in their raw form (e.g. fruits and veggies). The qualities of the processed organic food in this study are linked to better health outcomes than those found in the non-organic food. While this type of study is novel, the results are not entirely surprising. Organic standards for processed foods prohibit many ingredients that are associated with negative health outcomes including GMOs, and chemical additives like artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.


Banner Photo Credit: Franki Chamaki;