Is Organic Food Healthier?

This Reuters article, titled Organic food is no healthier, study finds, reports that researchers are saying that organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food. Here are a few excerpts from the article.
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.
"Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority."

The results of research, which was commissioned by the British government's Food Standards Agency, were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
I have never really embraced the whole organic food movement.. yet I do wonder if foods grown without pesticides and milk produced from hormone free cows might be better for us.. but I have to say that I am fairly ignorant about organic foods.

What do you think about the report? Are you a Whole Foods shopper?


  1. It costs more so it must be better for us! ;-)

  2. I buy very little "organic" food and I certainly don't go out of my way to find it. The hormones in the cows AFAIK, never make it to the milk. And, if they did, they probably wouldn't have any impact on humans. And, if they did, they probably wouldn't have an impact taken orally. And, if they did, there would probably be such a small amount it wouldn't matter anyway.

    I rinse my fruits and vegetables. G-d gave man a brain so we could produce the pesticides that allow us to get the food instead of the insects, the fertilizer that allows us to grow large amounts of food on smaller plots of land and the preservatives so we can have the convenience and safety we enjoy.

  3. Following is some info from the wiki.. wonder why Canada and Europe see it differently than the USA?

    According to the Food and Drug Administration, food products made from rBST treated cows are safe for human consumption, and no significant difference exists between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.[10] Furthermore, the FDA found bGH to be biologically inactive when consumed by humans and found no biological distinction between rBST and BST.[10] In 1990, an independent panel convened by the National Institute of Health reaffirmed the FDA opinion that milk and meat from cows supplemented with rBST is safe for human consumption.[citation needed] However, bans were upheld in Canada and Europe based on evidence that rBGH in the milk supply causes cancer in human beings.

  4. Yeah, Bob. That's the data I saw when I researched it. Even if rBST is a carcinogen, the FDA says it's not in the milk!

    I'm going with the US Government's assessment, Bob. There was (is?) a big dust up about this issue with those who had the most to gain (those producing rBST "free" milk pushing the fear the most. That stuff is expensive. My wife wanted to buy it. About the same time I discovered that soy milk was about the same price as the "hormone free" milk and has the benefit of soy protein. So, we switched the family over to that.

    I don't know why. But, Europe bans a lot of stuff the US allows. I don't know if that means we're too lax or they're overly cautious.

  5. Thx Brian - good info. Maybe Europe is just too socialist :)

    How does the soy milk taste? Like skim?

  6. Well, since I can't stand the taste of milk, I'm not the person to ask. I can't remember the last time I had a glass of milk.

    I use it in my cereal. I'm guessing (and from what I remember) it tastes like skim milk. It definitely does not have that fatty/creamy texture of whole milk (which is what I don't like about milk). The girls drink it when they drink "milk" and so does my wife. But, honestly, none of us is really milk drinkers. They have milk with desserts.

  7. Hmmm. The organization trains people who approve non-organic food for the market believes it's as good as organic. That's fascinating. And in related news, your surgeon believes you need surgery, your insurance salesman believes you need insurance, and at least one hammer believes woodscrews should be driven into the wall with repeated blows to its flat end.

    I buy organic.

  8. I don't believe organic is safer if non-organically produced food is properly prepared. I don't trust the FDA to ensure that my food and my drugs are as safe as they should be.

    I think marketers overuse Organic and other "attributes" so that they can sell more product at a higher margin.

  9. Whether organic food is healthier is kind of missing the point.

    I eat certain organic foods because it treats the animals more ethically and doesn't encourage the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Plus, organic fertilizers don't use oil - a non-renewable resource, but bullshit - which is in abundant supply. ;)


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