The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines "organic" as foods that are produced without antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, irradiation, or bioengineering. Organic farmers are required to adhere to certain soil and water conservation methods, and to rules about the humane treatment of animals.
While eating organic foods can be expensive, I suggest you spend the money on two main categories: dairy and beef. Scientists from the UK found that organic milk had about 70% more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk. Another study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that grass-fed cows (organically raised cows) produced milk that contained 500% more CLA than cows who ate industrially raised, grain-fed cows.
Meat from organically raised cattle also contains higher levels of CLA and omega-3 fats. Since omega-3s and CLA can help you drop fat and gain muscle, it makes sense to shell out the extra cash for organic milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, cheeses, and grass-fed beef.
- Dhiman, TR. "Conjugated Linoleic Acid Content of Milk from Cows Fed Different Diets" 1999 J Dairy Sci 82:2146-2156.
- Ellis, K. A., et al. Comparing the Fatty Acid Composition of Organic and Conventional Milk. Journal of Dairy Science 89:1938-1950, 2006