This is an ongoing debate in our household. I’ll buy organic food if it’s close to the same cost as the pesticide produce, but I just can’t stomach paying a lot more for something of dubious value. I know pesticides aren’t good for me, but I’m not sure if the difference between the two is significant.
However, I know for dang sure that STRESS has all sorts of negative health effects, and paying an arm and a leg for a sack of apples and bananas that will be gone in two days DEFINITELY stresses me out.
So of course I was interested when I saw this headline a few days ago:
I thought this study might have some new information I could use when talking to hardcore organic folks, but I was disappointed. The scientists conducted a meta-analysis (an analysis of tons of original studies) of 237 different studies in order to draw some broader conclusions, and here’s basically what they found:
- Organic produce was, on average, no more nutritious than conventionally grown.
- Organic produce was not less likely to be contaminated with E Coli.
- Conventional produce had higher levels of pesticide residue (but well below levels set by the EPA (but who trusts the EPA anyway? :) )
- Organic chicken and pork was less likely to be contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria
And I’m disappointed because:
- Organic produce doesn’t have more nutrition! Who cares? That’s not why most people by organic produce. If you’re eating enough fruits and veggies to worry about getting poisoned from the pesticides, I think you’re doing ok in the nutrient department. The ONLY reason I buy organic produce is because of the pesticides used on conventionally grown kind, and Allison hits me with the guilt trip if I don’t buy it for the kids. I was hoping to see some new information on this front.
- This study actually CONFIRMS why most people buy organic produce, and what seems to be common sense: conventional produce has “poison” and organic doesn’t.
There’s not really anything here to shake either side of the debate, unless if you’re thinking an organic apple is supercharged with nutrients not found in the bargain version.
This food writer said it well:
“Saying organics aren’t worth it because they don’t have more vitamins is like saying lifting weights doesn’t give you better skin.”
Usually it’s the all-natural types writing the sensational headlines, but this one is pretty bad. “Casts doubt on the advantages of organic?” Maybe. But not on the one advantage everyone cares about.