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In The News: Organic Food Isn’t Healthy??!! OMG!!

organic_production1Ugh.  I dread news articles that ultimately do nothing but confuse the public.

A few moments ago I received a tweet from @intellijenntsia, who wanted to know what I thought of this article, which reports that according to research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, “organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food.”

While vitamin and mineral content in organic and conventional crops may be the same (that, by the way, is what the researchers based their conclusion on), I find the “organic food is no healthier” headline absolutely misleading.

It could very well be argued that the lack of pesticides in organic crops inherently makes them a healthier alternative to conventional varieties, especially when it comes to berries, peaches, and apples (which have some of the highest pesticide loads).

So, in reality, what we are looking at is that organic “may be no more nutritious“, which is different from “no healthier”.

I also greatly dislike the fact that organic food is only discussed within a framework of health and nutrition.  Many people prefer to buy organic for environmental reasons.

The findings are relevant, though, in the sense that the term “organic” carries with it a health halo.

People have told me they prefer to buy organic gummy bears for their children because they are “healthier.”  I beg to differ.  Empty calories are empty calories.

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8 Comments

  1. Jenn said on July 29th, 2009

    Thanks for answering!

  2. KBellatti said on July 29th, 2009

    pffft…media. Organic is better for you because of the lack of pesticides, hormones, et cetra and so forth that are found in non-organic foods.

  3. Andy Bellatti said on July 29th, 2009

    Not to mention all the environmental concerns. A lot of pesticide runoff ends up in waterways and can wreak havoc on ecosystems. I am not saying 100% organic is the ONLY way (I don’t like food neuroses and extremes), but if it fits within someone’s budget, then organic is always the better choice.

  4. Andy Bellatti said on July 29th, 2009

    Sure thing. And thank YOU for turning to Small Bites.

  5. Christine Medifast said on July 29th, 2009

    The moment I saw this title I was of course completely mind boggled. Organic food to me is a huge part of my life and seeing something like that is just shocking. I don’t even know what to say, other then that I’m shocked!

  6. Andy Bellatti said on July 29th, 2009

    Well, hopefully the shock subsided when you realized the article was overstating something for shock value.

  7. Kristin said on July 31st, 2009

    Glad you wrote about this. Someone mentioned to me yesterday that they heard on the news “organic food was no healthier than regular food.” I was able to explain how that statement was wrong. It’s amazing how much power the media has over what people believe.

  8. Andy Bellatti said on July 31st, 2009

    It’s also unbelievable — well, pathetic, really — how little research is done by so many media outlets. It all becomes one great parroting effect.

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