Organic Junk Food is still… junk food

I came across this photo and had to laugh, pretty hard. Because it’s the truth. I was in the middle of a conversation via twitter about GMO foods when this question came my way:

“Do you think people complaining about #GMOs have a doublespeak, consuming unhealthily over-processed food?”

My response? Yes, from my experience, I think some do. Organic junk food is still… junk food.

Case in point:

organic junk food macaroni and cheese
via Eat This, Not That!

The Claim: “USDA organic”

The Truth: It’s organic so it must be healthy, right? Not so much. For an extra 60 cents per box, consumers save 20 calories and 1 gram of fat. They also gain 2 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, and 50 milligrams of sodium and they lose 6 percent of their daily iron. The point is, even organic junk food is still junk food. Your body processes organic refined flour and powdered cheese the same way it does conventional, so at the end of the day it’s still a high-calorie, low-nutrient letdown.

I had my fair share of Kraft Mac and Cheese as a kid, but the fact that it wasn’t “USDA Organic” isn’t what made it a less-than-healthy food option. We can argue our points all day about labels, and production methods, and size of farms, but when it comes down to it, highly processed foods, are still highly processed foods. That package of almost-vegan, organic oreos is still a box of sugar. Sorry PETA, this includes your list of vegan snacks too.

Don’t let labels dictate what you perceive as better food choices. Junk foods in any form are not the best food options when aiming for a healthy diet.  Maybe it’s not things like Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in our plants, or antibiotics, hormones, or feed additives given to our animals that are our biggest concerns. More often than not, maybe we just need to get back to the kitchen, learn how to cook again, and take a little more personal responsibility in our food choices. Labels make us lazy.

Now, who’s up for a boneless banana?


  1. I learned this first-hand during my vegan project… I’m probably one of the only people who could actually gain weight being vegan, but I ate mostly junk food — Plant-based, vegan, junk food. My normal diet hardly includes any of ‘that’ because I’m being cautious, during being vegan, my mind automatically associated everything with “healthy” so I ate whatever. Wrong.

  2. How insightful! I do not buy organic food probably because I’ve grown up on “regular” food, but its nice to know there isn’t much difference. I hear more people are changing over to all organic food and taking on the burden of paying more for a healthier self! Ill continue to save my pennies and eat my “bad” food and exercise.

    1. There is a difference. Just not in organic junk compared to non organic junk. I’ll take my organic produce and local grassfed meats over industrial products any day.

      1. Thanks for the comment, Mel. Not putting down organic certified foods here. There are many reasons we make our own food choices. Just trying to emphasize that a label doesn’t dictate healthiness of a good product.

        Just because a product is non-organic doesn’t make it bad either. But the misconceptions about conventional food production is an entirely different can of worms. 🙂

  3. I still think a ‘revised’ home economics class should be added back into the school system to teach kids how to buy and cook food from scratch or even ‘semi’ home made. They could have a food nutrition aspect and learn how to eat healthy and with healthy portions. Then tie it into an expanded PE program to teach them how to get enough physical exercise with proper nutrition to maintain a healthy life style! These are important life skills.

  4. Excellent post Ryan! I love this: “Don’t let labels dictate what you perceive as better food choices. Junk foods in any form are not the best food options when aiming for a healthy diet.” I prepare food for my family daily. It’s not organic and it is more healthy than many food choices we have. Thanks for this insight and reminder. I am sharing!

  5. Great post Ryan. Along with Danielle, this is something I too encountered during our vegan adventure. Consumers need to understand that labeling doesn’t dictate what is good/bad or even safe or unsafe for that matter.

  6. Isn’t it funny how labels make people go a little crazy sometimes? An organic apple doesn’t have more nutrition than a regular apple, but slap an “organic” label on it and somehow it becomes much more than an apple! But hey! Marketing companies make big money for a reason!

  7. But what would marketing companies do if everyone figured out that “organic” doesn’t mean “more nutritious”?! Funny how buzzwords can make people go a little crazy!

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