Camire, Nayak quoted in HuffPost article about organic food myths

HuffPost quoted the University of Maine’s Mary Ellen Camire, a professor of food science and human nutrition, and Balunkeswar Nayak, an associate professor of food processing, in the article “Organic Snacks Aren’t Necessarily Healthier Than Junk Food. Here’s Why.” Eating organic food has numerous benefits, including limiting exposure to chemical pesticides and herbicides, synthetic substances and additives like artificial food dyes, and antibiotics and hormones in animal products. But organic versions of popular junk food snacks are not necessarily “healthier” and often are still high in sugar and low in protein and fiber, which makes them less filling, the article states. And organic junk food can still contain refined sugars and starches, which can cause health problems if consumed in excess. “The specific source of sugar may not be very important to the person’s overall health,” said Camire. “Long-term high consumption of fructose from any source — organic or not — can lead to insulin resistance, fatty livers and many other health problems, and so can excessive sucrose consumption, whether the sugar comes from cane sugar or beets.” And many of the nutritional benefits of organic crops are lost in processing, the article states. “Depending on the intensity and severity of the food processing, nutritional content including vitamins and minerals will be degraded in the processed food,” Nayak said. For example, in packaged cookies “the baking temperature of dough is high enough to degrade or destroy most of the nutrients. Hence, it does not matter whether the wheat flour is organically or conventionally grown,” Nayak added.