A new study coming out of Stanford University is about to confuse a lot of people who might have been on the fence about the benefits of buying organic foods.
Reported by Food Safety News the research suggests that, "Despite the widespread perception that organically produced foods are more nutritious than conventional alternatives, we did not find robust evidence to support this perception."
Considering the sales of organic food as jumped from 3.7 billion in 1997 to 26.7 billion in 2010, it seems that many people disagree.
I think most people believe that buying organic food is "healthier" than conventionally grown food, and they would be correct in that assumption. However, this study makes you reevaluate what the word healthy means.
In eyes of the scientists involved,HY health is ONLY tied to the nutritional value of the foods we eat. They argued that organically grown food does not have any more nutritional value (ie: vitamins & minerals) than non-organic. While this maybe true, nutrients aren't the only factors to consider when buying your fruits, vegetables and meats. If you are really concerned about the foods you feed your family, you would want to buy products that will contribute positively to their overall health.
The USDA categorizes a product as "organic" when at least 95% of the product was made using an organic process which they define as:
A production system that is managed in accordance with the Act and regulations in this part to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.No where in that statement allows for the use of a treasure trove of chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, herbicides, fungicides, or genetically modified organisms that are found in non-organic foods. While the USDA would never publicly admit that putting any of these, much less a combination of them, can have detrimental effects on the health of everyone who grows or eats them...most of us in Granolaville know better.
The Stanford scientists even admitted they've never done a long-term study concerning the health benefits of "people who eat primarily organic food versus those who eat primarily conventional."
So how can they really make the claim that organic food is not better for your health?
For me, it's a no-brainer to see why I would rather up my grocery budget than buy foods that have been manipulated or poisoned. And while the Internet is all a buzz about the news of this study I urge you to remember at the end of the day only WE are responsible for our health.
Check out this great infographic highlighting all the reasons why the production, cultivation, and consumption of organic foods are better for the health of everyone involved (except maybe those who make money off of mass-producing "Frankenfood").
A leader in the "real food movement and author of The Omivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollen, urges:
"I would just encourage people to educate themselves and not take headlines at face value. It's a complicated question, and we need to a do a lot more science," he said. "The absence of proof means that we either haven't studied it or we haven't found it yet, it doesn't mean we won't. In the meantime, there's a precautionary principle: even though the case isn't closed on low levels of pesticides in our diet, there are very good reasons to minimize them."Does this study change your mind about the benefits of organic food?
Not Buying the Hype in Granolaville,