“There is no evidence of a difference.”
That’s what researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine had to say about non-organic meat, veggies and fruit versus their more costly organic counterparts.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 29, 2009) reported that a band of researchers analyzed 50,000 scientific papers examining the nutritional content of organic food. They concluded that organic has “no health benefits.” The UK’s Food Standard Agency (FSA) said that this would help consumers make more “informed choices.”
So, I guess that’s it. As Gill Fine, FSA director of consumer choice, said “…there is no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic food.” (news.bbc.co.uk)
But hold on second…
The study completely ignores all the other health benefits of organic food besides a higher nutritional content…
- Avoiding Chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers: It’s just commonsense that growing your food in deadly chemicals and then ingesting the residue will in some way hurt your health.
- Enjoying Real, GMO-Free Food:view Eating organic is the only way to guarantee your produce has not been genetically modified by a scientist with a Petri dish, some E. coli bacteria and DNA from who knows where.
- Protecting our Environment: Most of the pesticides farmers spray on our food doesn’t hang around long. Some evaporates into the air we breath. The rest sinks into the very soil we grow our food in. The rest is washed into our water supply. (And yet we are worried about too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere!)
- Improved Taste: Organic food usually has more flavor. Personally, I trust my tongue’s ability to determine nutritional value before some government-funded lab test.
Also, keep in mind that this ONE analysis is hardly gospel when it comes to judging the nutritional quality of organic food. It sounds impressive, but it’s worth noting that of the 50,000 scientific articles they reviewed they only found 162 actual relevant studies (sciencedaily.com) – all of which sourced the traditional food industry.
There’s a big difference between the type of “organic” produce you’ll find in a big box supermarket and the type you’ll find from local farmers or a health food store. Merely avoiding pesticides is only half the battle. Using the right seeds and enriching the soil are the other factors.
For another study by The Organic Center check out “New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods.” This study points out that the London researchers forgot to check the antioxidant quality of the foodstuffs they reviewed. This cancer-preventing factor is typically much higher in organic produce.
It’s also worth noting that the UK study was conducted in traditional Western fashion: Everything was judged by how the food faired on a laboratory score sheet.
Why not conduct a study that looks at the health of actual people eating organic food? Sounds kind of simple, I know. But isn’t that what we really wanted to know? Does organic food make us feel better, prevent disease and extend life?
No one is doing this.
How much less heart disease would we have if everybody ate organic? How much less autism? How much less lethargy? Would we think clearer? Would we be more interested in exercise? Would we read more books? Would we be more fertile? Would our vision improve?
And without question the potency of certain produce to help REVERSE cancer (no less prevent) has been scientifically verified and should be explored and exploited. I’m sure organic produce would do an ever better job.
The London study cost $199,000 (£120,000). Yet how much did the National Cancer Institute spend on cancer research last year? $5,260,738. How much does the American Cancer Society average, annually? About $10-12 million a year. (associatedcontent.com)
Maybe they could spare some change to determine whether eating broccoli free of hazardous chemicals would reduce cancer rates.
In the end, it sounds like this study was just meant to serve the viewpoint of big agricultural business. The same industry who came up with the clever idea of growing pesticides directly inside corn. The same industry that has demonstrated over and over again that they are into making more and more profit by cutting health and safety corners.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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