Will organic food help reduce your risk of cancer?

7 November 2015 | Clare Hughes
organic food and cancer

You’ve probably noticed that there’s been a lot of hype about the reported health benefits of organic foods.

Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without using synthetic chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. People choose to eat organic for a number of reasons including taste, environmental factors, for their reported health benefits or just personal preference.

But will going organic help reduce your risk of cancer?

We know some people have concerns about chemical residues that may remain on conventionally produced foods, but the levels permitted by the food regulator Foods Standards Australia New Zealand are so low that they’re not considered to be a cancer risk.

Also, there is currently no evidence that organic fruits and vegetables are higher in cancer-fighting nutrients than conventionally-produced fruits and vegetables. 

Organic fruits and vegetables are generally more expensive than conventionally-produced fruit and veg. Our previous research has found that cost is one of the biggest barriers to increasing fruit and veg intake.

Cancer Council NSW recommends people aim to eat two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables daily to ensure maximum health benefits. A diet that includes fruit and vegetables can reduce your risk of some cancers and help you maintain a healthy body weight.

Yet around half of NSW adults don’t eat enough fruit and a massive 90% don’t eat enough veg. So most of us should be increasing our fruit and vegetable consumption.

So what’s the Cancer Council verdict? It’s important we all aim to eat our 2 & 5 each day, but the decision to go organic really is a personal choice.

So don’t forget to add some fruit and veg to your shopping list today!