Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Eating Organics: Is it about Nutrition?

Yesterday the New York Times published an article on a meta-analysis done by Stanford University that looked at research on organic and conventional foods.

From the New York Times:
"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."

No shit.

My understanding of why someone would buy organic was never because that organic was more nutritious, but because you didn't want to consume foods with pesticides. I'm not sure how this is a big deal, I thought we all knew this?

-I do like how it was pointed out that this study conducted wasn't funded by outside financing
-"the levels were almost always under the allowed safety limits" for pesticides. Almost always.
-the article is written like this study is a big deal but it's not really groundbreaking here

As for my thoughts on organic:
In our kitchen, we aren't that big into organic produce when we shop. It is really not a requirement that buy anything organic and I won't really go out of my way to do so (it's rather expensive to buy organic). I will buy the pre-washed salads that are organic but this is more because you can't find baby arugula or mesclun greens in a non-organic versions. Our priority has been mostly to shop things that are in season and preferably local produce during the summer. This may change if I have kids and want to feed them foods with less pesticides and antibiotics but right now, that's my thought on it.

That being said, we also are fortunate to have a very productive garden at my parents house that supplies a lot of our lettuce and herb needs during the summer. I planted so many packets of seeds of salad mixes that it got a little out of hand this summer so we've now taken to calling it our 'jungle'. Not only can we control how we grow our garden, it can be cheaper (can be, but only if you start from seed) though the best reason to grow your own is the taste of veggies from your garden is unbelievable.

But back to the original link to the article in the New York Times, well it's not really anything I didn't already know. Not sure why such a big fuss was made about it.

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