With so much stress on organic and non-GMO foods these days, it is imperative for the consumers to know the real facts about the foods labelled as “organic”. Many people think that all the foods labelled as organic are healthy. However, it is not so. For instance, an organic fudge brownie would still be packed with fat and calories and would do the same harm to your body as would its non-organic chocolaty cousin.
According to a research by the Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, foods labelled as ‘organic’ influence people and tend to give the product a favourable health bias. Merely the label could alter perceptions about the taste, calories, and value. This ‘health halo’ effect is stronger among some people. As a part of the research, about 115 people were selected to participate in the study. They were asked to evaluate three pairs of products – two yogurts, two cookies and two potato chip portions. One item from each food pair was labelled as ‘organic’. The twist was that all products were organic and exactly the same. The subjects were asked to rate the taste and caloric content of each item and how much they were willing to pay for each. Despite being given the same foods, the ‘organic’ ones resulted in being rated as better and were estimated to have fewer calories and better taste than the other two. People were also willing to pay up to 23.4% more for organic products. The ‘organic’ label tricked the subjects’ taste buds. Organic chips and yogurt were judged to be more nutritious and flavourful than the regular varieties. Although all foods were identical, a simple ‘organic’ label made all the difference.
So, the next time you go for ‘organic’ shopping, check the food package marketing and nutrition labels with a more critical eye and choose the products that are actually organic, without any artificial additives.