Organic Food Hype – Is It Worth The Fuss?

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

In these modern times, many people are changing their diet to consume more organic food rather than the traditionally grown produce. They believe that it is healthier as organic food does not contain any synthetic pesticides. So, is this group of people making the right choice? Is there merit behind organic food hype?

Some Basics About The Organic Food Hype

Organic food hype may be truthScientists from Britain have made a study on this so-call organic food hype. In their study, they tested 11 brands of organic vegetable soups and 24 brands of non-organic soups. When a comparison was made, it was found that the organic brands contained 9 times more salicylic acid than the non-organic brands. Four non-organic brands contained no salicylic acid at all.

It can then be said that traditionally grown crops indeed lack this salicylic acid, which is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin and helps prevent colon cancer and atherosclerosis.

Why does organic plants contain so much more salicylic acid in organic plants as compared to traditionally grown plants?

Salicylic acid is produced naturally in plants and serves to protect them from pests, stress and diseases. In organic plants, this acid is produced more abundantly as they do not rely on synthetic pesticides. On the other hand, salicylic acid is less needed in traditionally grown plants as they have been depending a great deal on pesticides.

However, basic evolutionary theory would predict that these traditionally grown plants might gradually lose their natural ability to defend itself via the production of salicylic acid in the long run. This might be happening in the world today.

If you do not have access to organic vegetables, you should at least wash them with filtered water. If you have an ozonation unit, place the washed vegetables inside a plastic bag and fill it up with ozone. Leave the vegetables with the ozone for 20 minutes. Remove the vegetables and place in refrigerator. Vegetables so treated can last for many more days because ozone serves as an disinfectant and kill germs on the surface of the vegetables.

Relating Salicylic Acid Deficiencies To Stress

There is one unavoidable aspect of life that we all face and that is a not-so-little thing called stress. The system through which our body responds to stress is called the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. The NEM Stress response covers us from the initial realization of a threat to our physical responses and reactions in the presence of that threat. There are several reactions that take place which are physically damaging if they are experienced on a frequent basis. Stress contributes to inflammation and immune system suppression. Not to mention the fact that stress causes our bodies to lock away fat stores which renders us unable to lose weight.

Now, because organically grown plants have higher concentrations of salicylic acid, their consumption greatly impacts our bodies ability to recover from stress. This is true for a few reasons, the first of which is that when we are consuming salicylic acid on a regular basis, our bodies have lower levels of inflammation for before stress is introduced. Because of this, when we experience inflammation spikes because of our body releasing large amounts of hormones during the fight and flight response triggered by stress, not only does inflammation start from a more balanced level but it is also able to recover to normal levels more quickly. This is essential to lessen the effects of stress.

When stress levels are high for long periods of time and inflammation is allowed to maintain itself at those abnormally elevated levels, a multitude of physical ailments can take place. Some clinical professionals believe that there is a strong link between high inflammation levels and cancer.

Adrenal Fatigue Recovery and Diet

The facts behind organic food hypeThe body is not able to recover from excess stress, one of the main contributors to an affliction known as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). During the NEM Stress Response, our bodies put a large burden of responsibility on the adrenal glands. They are one of the most important pillars that the body relies on to produce the hormones that regulate physical responses during the fight and flight response.

When you incorporate more organic vegetables into your diet and make it a priority to choose to eat organic, you are doing your body a huge favor by following the facts, and not the organic food hype, in the process of adrenal fatigue recovery. There are, however, a few downsides to organic foods which can sour the taste, so to speak, of eating mainly organic. One of these is the higher cost. Because organic foods are not grown with pesticides, there is a lot more crop loss and risk associated with its production and this leads to a higher price tag at checkout. There are a few ways that you can try to bring this cost down and one of those is by frequenting a farmers market. When you buy directly from the source, not only are you cutting out the middleman, you can be sure of the foods’ origins.

Organic food hype
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I thank you for your web site and all your insight, it does really help. You have a unique purpose in this life and maybe the rest of the medical community will one day catch on to it like you have already. I want to be healthy and proactive instead of reactive. I don't trust them they don't really care if you live or die. I have two kids that I want to be healthy for. So continue to do what you do. It is a blessing for those of us who cherish life.


  • Ren Harold Benson says:

    I have family going to nursing schools, and they tell me that there is no benefit to eating organic or non organic fruits and vegetables , is this so ?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Conventional medicine is quite far behind in the science which has shown organic being far superior. Each person has to do their own homework and no amount of science can convince a skeptical mind.

      Dr Lam.