Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Organic - The New Snake Oil?

Let us say right up front, we aren't experts when it comes to snake oil, but the art of separating people from their money over health claims is not new.
A new study from Stanford University finds that when it comes to nutrition, organic foods, such as meat, dairy, and produce, may not be worth all that extra money being spent. 

While organics come at a premium, researchers say they are not healthier and not significantly safer than conventional foods and produce grown with pesticides.
Here we have consumers spending all this money with the hope of buying healthier, more nutrient food.
"There isn't much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you're an adult and making a decision based solely on your health," stated researcher Dena Bravata.

In a review of thousands of papers, the researchers found that there was also no guarantee organic food would be pesticide-free, yet despite this, the study turned up little evidence that conventional foods posed greater health risks than organic products.
 In addition, the researchers found that the pesticide levels of all foods generally fell within the allowable safety limits. 

"Some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious," states co-researcher Crystal Smith-Spangler at Stanford's School of Medicine. "We were a little surprised that we didn't find that."

A separate new study from Oxford University in the UK found that organic farming may not be better for the environment either. 
The researchers also said that organic products such as milk, cereals, and pork generate higher greenhouse gas emissions than their conventional counterparts.  This study was published online September 4 in the Journal of Environmental Management.