Organic Food Still Not Proven Safer, Study Suggests

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Seal of approval?

Before you head to the GreenWise organic section at Publix, you might want to read a bit further. Is your money going as far as you think it is?

The debate continues as a new study is inconclusive as to whether eating organic produce and meat is healthier or safer.

So why pay premium prices for products that might not be better?

According to an article published today on foodsafetynews.com, "Consumers purchase organic foods for many reasons," scientists wrote in a Stanford University study. "Despite the widespread perception that organically produced foods are more nutritious than conventional alternatives, we did not find robust evidence to support this perception."

The study reveals minor evidence that organics are worth your dollar. One such finding was lower pesticide levels in the urine of children who went organic for five days. But there wasn't a finding to say the pesticides would've been particularly harmful in the first place.

The scientists noted that despite their findings, they urge consumers to read their review with caution, because there have been no long-term studies comparing the health outcomes of people who eat strictly organic and those who do not. Expense and difficulty are the main causes for such studies not being conducted.

In 2010, the organic industry was valued at $29 billion -- it's more than likely well beyond that figure two years later. You'd think with all that money, the industry could fund a long-term study to finally settle the debate: Is eating organic really better?

But what do you, as a consumer, think? Do you buy organics because you think they're better for you? For trend's sake? Or do you think the whole thing is a load of baloney? Comment with your thoughts.

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8 comments
Schwettin
Schwettin

"Organic" is as much a Marketing Hook as Lo-Fat or Lo-Cal. Increasingly, there are Corporate "Organic" Farms that are just as harmful to their local environment as any Conventional Farm. That said, learning to prepare your own meals primarily with locally grown seasonal crops is fun, nutritious and tasty. Plus, it provides the economic and environmental advantage of supporting local small farm businesses and helps keep down the costs and impacts of long distance transportation. 

 

Most items labelled "Organic" in Publix, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, etc. travel 100s and even 1,000s of miles before they hit the shelves. With the Florida growing season getting under way just about now, this is a good time to learn the mantra of "Local," rather than "Organic."  

Mike Moskos
Mike Moskos

If its 3-4 week old organic food shipped in from the rest of the country or even China, it is not worth it. But any produce picked in the last few days is always a better value (tastes infinitely better too). Of course, if our government respected property rights and charged farmers for fouling the land of others through synthetic chemical runoff, organic food would be much cheaper than chemical consumer products--even the big food companies won't call that crap "food", they use the terms "product" or "consumer products".

Victoria Alvarez Noriega
Victoria Alvarez Noriega

The study is very limited. They studied for levels of pesticides (let's remember these are toxins) in urine. They did not study however, how these pesticides affect the body or our health. The study actually proves organic is better unless you don't mind higher levels of pesticides in your body. People spend so much money on stupid crap, I'd rather invest it in my health.

Yomari Cruz-Deweese
Yomari Cruz-Deweese

Less pesticides in my child's urine is enough for me. Thank you. Really. I mean yes there are no long term studies yet. There can't be. Is that fair reason to say its all bullshit? No. Common sense tells me if it's grown in smaller farms (even better if local) and without use of pesticides or antibiotics etc etc it is probably not only better for us but also for the environment. And you know what? I have been eating and cooking with organic foods for years. They taste better. They just do. Next thanksgiving buy a nonorganic turkey at Publix and an organic (and yes expensive) one at whole foods and tell me what you think!

David Minsky
David Minsky

err, the best to stuff to eat is the stuff you grow

David Minsky
David Minsky

I'm telling ya, the best stuff to grow is your own.

Tai Dempster
Tai Dempster

If you're not growing it yourself, its not organic.

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