January 8, 2012
What was your reaction to the recent political campaigns where the candidates were free to make statements about their opponent that were false? So, we must not be too surprised to learn that some information that is shared with us about other topics can be false or misleading. As an example, Stanford University released a study in September concluding that there is "hardly any evidence that organic food is healthier," a conclusion that is misleading at best.
The study, according to a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, did confirm that organic food significantly lowers pesticide levels, multi-drug-resistant bacteria levels and raises beneficial fat levels. The study's authors played down these benefits, focusing only on the fact that organic food has not yet been shown to have higher levels of vitamins and other nutrients.
From a scientific standpoint, nutrition is not the only health benefit that matters! Organic agriculture avoids antibiotics. We know the overuse of antibiotics increases resistance and erodes the drugs' effectiveness. An analysis conducted by Washington State University presents strong evidence that pesticides in the diet can especially have adverse affects on children. These are just some of the health benefits of eating organic.
A final point is that the 237 studies assessed by the Stanford report evaluated only five people who consumed a predominately organic diet and none examined pesticide levels in adults. The higher expense of organic foods does have important, long-term benefits which justifies the cost in my opinion.
As an aside, I wonder who funded the study?