The truth about organic food - according to science

The truth about organic food - according to science


What does "organic" food mean? And how do you know if something's organic?

Of course, foods tell you if they're organic in massive letters on the packaging. And they cost way more. But what makes a food organic? Is eating organic better for your health? And are the benefits worth the expense?

Luckily, Professor Tim Spector is here today with answers. Tim is one of the world's top 100 most cited scientists, a scientific co-founder of ZOE, and the author of the bestselling book Food for Life: The New Science of Eating Well.

Stick around until the end, and you'll also find out the answer to a question we get often: Does Tim eat organic?

Download our FREE guide — Top 10 Tips to Live Healthier:


00:00 - Intro

01:21 - Quickfire round

02:36 - What is organic food?

03:06 - Pesticides vs insecticides

08:06 - Diseases

09:15 - Herbicide risks

16:03 - Nutrient comparison 

18:21 - Natural chemical defences

20:32 - Does Tim Eat organic food?

22:15 - Foods high in chemicals

25:32 - Organic and cost

26:56 - Washing food

31:11 - Summary and outro

Mentioned in today’s episode: 

Organic food consumption and the incidence of cancer in a large prospective study of women in the United Kingdom from the British Journal of Cancer

Association of frequency of organic food consumption with cancer risk from JAMA Internal Medicine

Impacts of dietary exposure to pesticides on faecal microbiome metabolism in adult twins from Environmental Health

Follow ZOE on Instagram.

Episode transcripts are available here.

Is there a nutrition topic you’d like us to explore? Email us at and we’ll do our best to cover it. 

Heart UK