Is Organic Better For You?

Maybe not, according to a study by Stanford University scientists:

They concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts, which tend to be far less expensive. Nor were they any less likely to be contaminated by dangerous bacteria like E. coli.

The researchers also found no obvious health advantages to organic meats.

Conventional fruits and vegetables did have more pesticide residue, but the levels were almost always under the allowed safety limits, the scientists said. The Environmental Protection Agency sets the limits at levels that it says do not harm humans.

“When we began this project, we thought that there would likely be some findings that would support the superiority of organics over conventional food,” said Dr. Dena Bravata, a senior affiliate with Stanford’s Center for Health Policy and the senior author of the paper, which appears in Tuesday’s issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. “I think we were definitely surprised.”

Kenneth Chang of The New York Times has the story: Link


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When I was growing up, we moved out to the country. We had a half-acre garden, chickens for eggs, rabbits and a heifer a year for meat, and well water. I had perfect skin and no weight problems.

We then moved to the desert, to an area with water even the FDA had problems with and started buying all of our food in stores, and this was before some of the more extreme factory farming was involved. I gained weight, my skin broke out, and nothing tasted good. I moved away a few years later, but to the suburbs and the continued factory farmed food.

The last year or so I've made a point of buying a lot of organic food, and we've lost weight, and our skin has gotten better. We've noticed that the food tastes a lot better, but we find ourselves eating less. We don't graze all day.

The hormones and antibiotics that they feed to factory animals stays in the meat. You have to have a prescription for hormones and antibiotics, but the FDA lets it through in your food.
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key sentence : "The Environmental Protection Agency sets the limits at levels that it says do not harm humans."
In France/Europe as well in the States I guess, every year molecules are banished from phytosanytary use...
I'm eating organic because there is less pesticides (and because I can afford it...)
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Borlaug's work was based on plant breeding. Not gene splicing in a lab.

GM foods, or rather crops, do come with a "slight" catch for the producer.
They are not allowed to use seeds from one crop to grow the next. In some cases, they wouldn't even be able to do so, as the seeds would be sterile. This goes against thousands of years of farming history.
Companies such as Monsanto make a mint by altering a few genes in something that took actual farmers ages (counting in centuries here) to select and turn into the produce we know, and slapping a copyright on top.
Efficient? Possibly, yes, for the moment, at least. But you leave a multinational corporation (known to lie about its products, see "RoundUp") in charge of the world's food supply.

Organic pesticides are made from natural products (as opposed to chemically synthesised). I know that in France it took a very long time to get "nettle manure" on the list of approved pesticides and fertilizers because of the lobbies, who didn't like people making efficient treatment products out of a very common plant. It had been used for centuries... Big Corporations didn't like losing money to nature.

Unfortunately, as long as there will be "conventional agriculture", the kind using chemicals, there will never really be any 100% Organic crops grown.
Pesticides carried by the wind, or through water contamination, will reach organic cultures.
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@Romke, no one is making claims about taste. That is a purely subjective matter. I'm sure any food grown and purchased locally, whether non-organic or organic will taste better. Buy whatever your preference is. Just wash the organic stuff more thoroughly since organic food is more likely to have e coli. Organic fertilizer is poop....literally :)
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