• Mandy Lau

Do Organic Foods Help Relieve Food Sensitivities?

Mandy Lau, HK BioTek Nutritionist

English Translation: Annie Zhou, HK BioTek Intern


Organic foods are becoming more popular. In this era of promoting healthy eating, many consumers are attracted by foods without pesticides, additives, etc. But if you are troubled by food sensitivity symptoms, should you choose organic foods? We must first understand that the main cause of many symptoms is the protein of the allergen, which stimulates the immune system to secrete antibodies. Suppose you have an antibody response to wheat. No matter ordinary wheat or organic wheat, as long as the protein of wheat is present, you will still be sensitive to both wheat.

So is organic food unhelpful? Not necessarily.

Professor Wong Jonathan Woon Chung, director of the Hong Kong Organic Resources Center, said that there is no scientific research that organic foods have direct effects to ease sensitive symptoms. However, the cultivation, production, and packaging of organic foods are strictly monitored. They are free from pesticides and additives, and are less likely to be genetically modified. So organic food could reduce the immune burden for people with food sensitivities, especially those children. Not only do environmental toxins, such as pesticides and additives, interfere with the immune system, but they also increase the burden of detoxification and eventually weaken the body. Therefore, the selection of organic products without allergens can also help the body repair the immune system.

In recent years, the scandals of food safety in Mainland China have continued, which has led many local food traders that rely on imports from the Mainland to import more high-quality organic foods from abroad to restore consumer confidence. As a result, the price of organic food has become competitive, not far from ordinary products.

Professor Wong reminds us to pay attention to the "organic certification label" to judge the authenticity of organic products when purchasing them. The certification standards and labels used by certification bodies in each country are different. For more information, please visit the Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre (http://www.hkorc.org) and the website of the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety (https://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/index.html).

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