After my run yesterday I stopped by McDonalds and had a medium sized order of french fries and an ice cream cone. 380 calories for the fries, 150 calories for the ice cream. I LOVE those soft serve ice cream cones. My joggling was 7 plus miles which equals about 700 calories. That means I still had a calorie deficit of 170 cals. Geez, I could’ve had a soda!
As marathon runners or jugglers go, I’m not much of a health food nut. I frequently eat candy bars, processed food, and soda pop. The way I see it the formula for nutrition is simple, calories in should be less than calories out. ergo eat less, exercise more. The actual food you eat doesn’t matter much. That is why I was intrigued to read an article in a recent Runner’s World magazine that looked at the question of ‘organic’ food and whether it was worth it for runners to eat it. Here are the primary points.
- Organic foods are grown without harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The author didn’t do her homework because farmers who grow organic foods DO use pesticides and chemicals! The difference is that they use only pesticides that are derived from natural sources. Unfortunately, these ‘natural’ pesticides can be just as ‘toxic’ as the synthetic ones. That seems bad.
- Organic foods have higher nutrient levels. This is debatable. Some nutritionists swear by it but can’t back it up with conclusive, scientific stuides. Other nutritionists say the differences are negligable. Hell, most people don’t eat any fruits and vegetables so it doesn’t matter much whether it is organic or not. If you’re not regularly eating fruits and veggies, start. Organic or not, it doesn’t make much difference.
- Organic foods are more expensive. No kidding! Did you ever go to Whole Foods to buy anything? You spend twice what you would at a regular grocery store.
- Not all organic foods are equal. It turns out that some organic foods are more beneficial than others. Here’s the Runner’s World list of produce that you should buy organic and ones that don’t matter.
- You should buy organic…
- Don’t bother buying organic…
- Broccoli / Cauliflower
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Eating organic meats & poultry limits your exposure to antibiotics and growth hormones. Notice that it says ‘limits’ it doesn’t say prevents. That’s because you can never be sure about these organic farmers. There is some big money out there and there have been some studies to show that not everyone is playing fair.
- Buying organic is better for you. You can decide about this one yourself. For me, I’ll keep eating my McDonalds ice cream cones and feeling good about myself. I embrace the ‘fake foods’. As I like to say, better living through chemistry.
So, should runners and jugglers buy organic food? Based on all the evidence I’ve seen and what I know about the way Marketers work, I say don’t waste your money. You want to be healthy, eat less, joggle more.
Joggling stats for the week.
Days ’til the marathon…45