Filed Under: Organic Activists

Organic vs. Evidence

The U.S. government has said time and again that organic foods have no added health benefits, and some researchers have even suggested that organic growing methods can increase the risk of E. coli. Now, there is fresh news that “claims that organically produced food has superior nutritional benefits do not appear to be supported by the available evidence.”

That’s the conclusion of a New Zealand study, the first critical review of research comparing organic and conventional foods to be published by a leading international science journal. “We found no strong evidence that organic and conventional foods differ in concentrations of various nutrients, with the possible exception of nitrate content, which may be lower in some organic crops,” says researcher Diane Bourn, whose paper appears in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. “We also reviewed studies investigating taste and found no convincing evidence of any differences between conventional and organic produce.”

So what’s the difference between organic and traditional produce? Just the cost, it seems: Organic can cost twice as much. As Theresa Marquez, marketing director for Organic Valley, has said: “The question is not, why is organic food so expensive. The question is, why are the foods we are eating now so cheap.”

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