Do Organic Foods Labels Make Food Healthier and Taste Better?

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Do Organic Foods Labels Make Food Healthier and Taste Better?

What you’re about to get into?

  • 1000 words, 8-10 minute read.


Key Points

  • Organic food is not all it’s made out to be. It certainly won’t help prevent or control diabetes better than non-organic alternatives.
  • People automatically assume organic food commodities are healthier and lower in calories than non-organic alternatives.
  • People are willing to pay more for organic food – with no clear understanding of organic food production laws or loopholes.

When you have diabetes eating a healthy diet is always top of your mind.


Because you hear YOU MUST in the media, you see IT’S ESSENTIAL on the internet, and YOU ARE TOLD SO every time you go to see your healthcare team.

But do you know what healthy choices are?

Where should you be prioritising you money?

What about Organic food? That’s healthy, right?

When you go to the supermarket, do you always reach for the Organic options?

When discussing food choices with friends, are fighting the corner of the organic options?

Some questions you may want to consider are:

  • What’s the evidence for organic vs. non-organic?
  • What’s the price differential?
  • Are my beliefs based on fact, or clever marketing?

As you read this article you may find yourself challenging your beliefs about Organic food, and by the end, you may even be thanking me for saving you a pretty penny.

Let’s get down to business.

Over the past decade or so food marketers, restaurants and supplements companies have capitalised on the growing trend of health and fitness. This has led to a massive consumer trend in purchasing ‘organic food’. In many cases, the sale of organic food is growing faster than conventional foods.

It’s not difficult to find the ‘Organic’ versions of your favourite food pretty much everywhere you go, usually at double the price.

A so-called ‘health halo’ has been attached to organic food.

Consumers are more concerned about food production methods than ever before. This includes hormones, pesticides, additives, antibiotics and all the other modern-day food technology methods used to boost food production and shelf life.

The health halo effect of organic food has lead many consumers to believe organic food is superior, both taste wise and nutritionally.

But, is there any truth to this?


Interesting Research by Lee and colleagues in 2013 cornered 115 members of the public in a regular supermarket and asked them to evaluate three paired food samples,

  • Two types of cookies, crisps and yoghurt.
  • One of each food was labelled ‘regular’ and the other ‘organic’, though both were organic.



What were the findings?

Despite there being little data to support the majority of organic claims being nutritionally superior to conventional foods, (which I will cover in another article), the researchers found the food labelled as ‘organic’ was perceived to be lower in calories than foods without the organic label. It also yielded better nutritional evaluations (e.g., tastes lower in fat, higher in fiber) than foods without the organic label.

Participants were also willing to pay more for foods labelled as organic.


What is the reason for this? 

The report concluded that the health halo effect is primarily driven by automatic processing, based on individual heuristics.

In other words, people choose organic food without thinking or knowing too much about it. Automatically they assume it will be a healthier and more nutritious food choice compared to its non-organic alternatives.


Are you paying over the odds?


Lack of education on the ‘lack of evidence’ behind organic food is leading more and more people to spend unnecessary amounts of cash on their diet. As a result, this may jeopardize certain individuals willingness to start, never mind follow, a healthy eating lifestyle.

If you’re going to pay double the price for your food, you should expect double the return on your investment, if not more. There is no evidence whatsoever to support organic food will provide this, especially when it comes to organic commodities like cookies, yoghurts and crisps.

The next time you visit the supermarket don’t automatically assume a food with an organic food label is healthier for you than a non-organic version. Buying a food with an organic food label is buying on blind faith especially from a commercial supermarket. There are so many loopholes in respect to organic food production that I’ll cover them another time. Safe to say, it’s often hard to know what you’re getting unless you visit a farm or produce the food yourself.

Rather than splashing the cash on organic food commodities like bars, crisps, yoghurts and snacks, just buy the non-organic foodstuff. There really is no difference, just price bracket. The money you save can go into more important stuff like quality meat, fish and eggs, fruit, vegetables, gym membership, key supplements, diabetes healthcare supplies and everyday normal living costs.




Instead of worrying about whether or not your next yoghurt is organic, focus on more important stuff like where was the food was produced and how was it handled up until reaching the shelves of your local food store.

Always ensure every food product you buy is clean, in date and undamaged.

Instead of worrying about where the ‘organic food label’ is, ask yourself these five more important questions,

What is the use by date? (this is more important than the ‘best before’ date)

  • Does the food look off?
  • Does the food smell off?
  • Is the packaging damaged?
  • Has it accidentally thawed?
  • Have I cooked and prepared it properly?

Provided all these answers are positive, you can rest assured your food is suitable for human consumption and won’t make you ill.


There are exceptions to buying organic food.

  1. If you want to support your local farmer or food producer.
  2. If the organic food product is free from a particular nutrient you may be intolerant or allergic to (and the non-organic version contains it).
  3. If eating organic simply sits better with you, and you can afford it. Keep eating it.


Written by Phil Graham

Founder of Diabetic Muscle and Fitness

Sports Nutritionist, Strength Coach, and Fitness Educator

Type 1 Diabetic for 12 years



  1. Smith-Spangler C et al. Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review.Ann Intern Med. 2012 Sep 4;157(5):348-66. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-5-201209040-00007. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Sep 4;157(5):348-66.
  2. You taste what you see: Do organic labels bias taste perceptions?. Food Quality and Preference Volume 29, Issue 1, July 2013, Pages 33-39