Skip to main content

Organic food isn't actually any better for you, and it's way more expensive

A common mantra of the organic food movement is that food grown in a healthy way is healthier for you. Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case.
A new study out of Stanford University compared organic fruits and vegetables with their conventionally grown counter parts for nutrients. They found that the expensive, organic goods were no more nutritious than their lowly conventional brothers and sisters. The same researchers came to the same conclusion about meats - no obvious health advantages.
The press release sums up the study's methodology:
For their study, the researchers sifted through thousands of papers and identified 237 of the most relevant to analyze. Those included 17 studies (six of which were randomized clinical trials) of populations consuming organic and conventional diets, and 223 studies that compared either the nutrient levels or the bacterial, fungal or pesticide contamination of various products (fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, milk, poultry, and eggs) grown organically and conventionally. There were no long-term studies of health outcomes of people consuming organic versus conventionally produced food; the duration of the studies involving human subjects ranged from two days to two years.
Aside from phosphorous, no other nutrient was more prevalent in organic foods than in conventionally grown products. While the study did find higher levels of pesticides on non-orgnanic goodies, they were always within health regulations, and below dangerous levels.
If you're surprised by the results, so were the study authors. The New York Times reports:
"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."
And, before you write this study off as an attack on organic funded by big factory farm machines (which certainly exist) this study was entirely funded internally. No outside funding pushed the study either way.
These results probably won't impact the sale of organic food in the United States, which has grown quickly in the last few years. Since 2010, the Organic Trade Association estimates that sales of organic food has increased 12 percent, to $12.4 billion. And not everyone buys organic for the health benefits. Some people choose the green sticker for social or economic reasons. Others simply think the food tastes better. But if you're buying it solely for health reasons, your money is probably better spent elsewhere.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Eating Out in Dar-es-Salaam | 10 Restaurants You Should Try

Bustling Dar es Salaam (‘place of peace’ in Arabic) is Tanzania ’s commercial and cultural powerhouse. Travellers tend to pass through the city on their way to Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar, but they’re missing out on a the sprawling markets, skyscrapers and colonial mansions that embody the vibrancy and diversity of modern Africa. Dar’s cuisine, long inspired by spices from Zanzibar and Indian migrants, provides a vivid snapshot of Tanzanian society. © Ali Damji/Flickr 305 Karafuu Although it only opened in 2013, the simply named  305 Karafuu  has already gained a reputation as one of the finest eateries in the whole of Dar. Located on a quiet side street in Kinondoni, it has the aura of a family home. The owner’s friendly service is second to none, and the bar is possibly the best stocked in Tanzania. Inside you’ll find low, contemporary yet rustic furniture and an odiferous open kitchen. The walls are bedecked with paintings from local artists, all available for sale. The food –

What Makes A Healthy Breakfast

While the benefits of eating breakfast are well-known —  it can  prevent weight gain ,  boost short-term memory ,  lower the risk of type 2 diabetes , and even  make us happier  — most of those health rewards depend on choosing the right foods. "In general, a healthy breakfast contains protein, fruits, whole grains, or vegetables," says Ruth Frechman, MA, RDN, CPT, nutritionist and author of " The Food is My Friend Diet ." Typically, you want to include foods from at least three of these groups, says Frechman. The portion sizes will depend on your age, activity, and diet goals, but as a general guideline your "plate" should consist of about 25% protein, 25% carbohydrates, and 50% fruits and/or vegetables, says Frechman. Frechman emphasizes the importance of eating breakfast, but recommends waiting until you're legitimately hungry to break bread. "If you force yourself to eat at 7 a.m. when you're not hungry, chances are you are going t

Weekend with Home Chefs #3 - David D'Souza

Welcome to the third episode of the "Weekend with home chefs series". In this episode we are introducing to you Mr. David D'Souza, a home chef with a great passion towards cooking and enjoys Goan cuisine very much. Before proceeding to the interview, you will have to know a bit about the Goan food. It's spunky; it's got personality and is seriously addictive! Authentic Goan food is one of the biggest reasons tourists flock to this glorious tourist destination.  A brief introduction to Goan Cuisine It's a potpourri of flavours: beef, pork, coconut, jaggery, cashew and an endless variety of seafood. A lot of Goan dishes like Prawn balchao and Sorpotel are well known and relished around the world. Goan food has many similarities with Portuguese food and this is mainly because of Portuguese inhabitants who lived there for almost 450 years. Goans didn't take after their prominent use of garlic in every dish, but definitely latched on to their flair