Renegade Health Radio: 43 A Debate on Organic Food vs. Conventional

Monday Jun 8 | BY |
| Comments (4)


In this episode, Kevin and Frederic debate a hot topic: organic vs. conventional foods. Frederic argues that eating organic food should be the least of your worries if you eat a mainly plant-based diet, and in fact doesn’t do so himself. Kevin takes the side that organic food is best and counters Frederic’s claims with strong arguments. Who will win? Find out in this episode.

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Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Arthur Sturm says:

    Although this was an interesting discussion, I do not remember any mention of GMOs. This is currently my main reason for buying only organic. It is possible for an organic farmer to use some pesticides and nobody will know. But I doubt that he would buy GMO seeds. With GMOs correlated with 22 major diseases, this is not a minor matter. My mother has actually shown health benefits such as stabilised cholesterol after using organic foods almost exclusively.
    I am very doubtful that the nutrients in conventional food is the same as organic food. I have seen several studies that say organic food has higher contents of vitamins and minerals.
    And what about sustainability? We are seeing erosion, depleted micronutrients and destruction of the soil bacteria biome in conventional farming. We see the very opposiite with organic.
    Does anyone know of an agribusiness that has organic produce? Agribusiness in farming has destroyed the small farmers in this country and is doing the same in other countries like Mexico.
    As long as I can afford it, I will buy organic exclusively. To those who buy non organic I would say you are playing roulette with your health and subsequently your life.

  2. Laurie says:

    I used to constantly have my own debate with myself over this very issue. In the end, this is my stance (I began eating a very healthy plant-based diet close to 3 years ago, but also hate to pay more than what seems reasonable for some organic items at some places based on my own risk/reward philosophy):

    I buy organic whenever possible and wherever the prices aren’t completely outrageous for items that I’m going to eat raw or dehydrate at a low heat, and take extra care washing any non-organic items that I might eat raw (not many).

    I go for the best value whenever I’m going to be roasting or cooking the vegetables since I believe they’re less likely to cause long-term problems from pesticides, etc.–I’ll pay a bit of premium for organic but not almost twice the price for it. Luckily in the Bay Area where I live I have farmer’s markets, Costco, the Berkeley Bowl, Sprouts Market and Cost Plus where I can get very good prices on Organic Produce, and also grow some of my own fruits and vegetables (including some wild local harvesting). Not everybody has such wonderful options, so I feel very blessed to live where I do.

    I only buy non-GMO foods.

    I changed my diet almost 3 years ago and my health has done nothing but improve since I stopped eating meat and started getting most of my protein from plant-based sources, following the guidelines above, including being able to get rid of all COPD (chronic bronchitis) symptoms and allergies that I was previously unable to control. I am not eating any more or less organic than I did prior to that, but my health has changed radically due to the overall change in diet, so I do tend to agree with Frederic on that count, although there are good enough reasons to buy organic whenever it makes sense as well.

  3. Tiff says:

    When I eat conventional strawberries I get a hive/rash reaction. My face and ears turn red. When I eat strawberries with no spray I have no reaction.

  4. Nick says:

    With regards to yields and production, organic/organic 2.0/intensive methods can produce more than conventional methods, the statement that we need conventional agricutlure is main stream dogma. I think Frederic needs to spend some time researching the subject before making such statements.He should look up Curtis Stone, Jean-Martin Fortier, etc. I would argue that small intensive argriculture is the future of food production, it’s one of the only truly sustainable methods.

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