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Organic Foods Reduce Exposure to Pesticide Residues & Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Well, here's a little guff to start the week. This guff is mainly directed at media, and only partially at the study that was published last week.

This was a systematic review of more than 200 previous studies. The main outcome from this--and what the media picked up and reported--was that there is generally no difference in nutritional value or risk for bacterial contamination between organic and conventional foods. For example, one such headline read, "Organic produce is no healthier or nutritious, finds review."

Now, while some studies have suggested organic food is more nutritious, I don't think that's the main issue. In fact, most who consume organic food do so with the primary objective to reduce exposure to pesticides. In fact, this study found that organic food consumption reduced exposure to any detectable pesticide residues by around 30%! That's significant, but why isn't this the main headline?

What about the benefits to the environment? The wildlife? Our lakes and rivers? Our water-supply? The farmers and their families? Those who live in rural communities in close proximity to farms? ...and so on.

I feel that the whole "nutrition argument" was created by the pesticide and genetic-engineering industries as a diversion to get attention away from the real issues at hand--the issues that actually matter and ones that are far more encompassing.

The reason why I'm not going to blast the researchers is that--even though they've made nutrition the main hypothesis of their study--they do try to educate on the other benefits of organic foods. So as not to discourage people from making organic purchases, the researchers even said, "If you look beyond [nutrition], there are plenty of other reasons to buy organic instead of conventional... Consumers may choose to purchase organic foods for other reasons besides nutrition and food safety, such as concern for animal welfare, the environment, or preferences in taste."

They even go so far as to suggest publication bias was present in the previously published studies included in the analysis. So when you hear people talk about the difference in nutrition between organic and conventional foods, make sure you let them know what the real issues are, and don't be misled by the "nutrition bait."

Other findings:
  • While no consistent differences were seen in the vitamin content of organic products, phosphorus (essential for bones) was significantly higher in organic produce.
  • There was also no difference in protein or fat content between organic and conventional milk, but organic milk and chicken contained higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Organic produce contained significantly higher levels of total phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties and numerous other health benefits.
  • There was 33% higher risk of exposure to bacteria that was resistant to 3 or more antibiotics with conventionally-grown chicken and pork. 
So if you haven't already subscribed, click HERE and subscribe to KnowGuff.com and make sure you know the full story mass media will omit in the name of getting headlines.

Source: Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review

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  1. I'm so glad you covered this subject in regards to the biased article that appeared in the papers. Obviously the article has been plastered all over the place because you and I didn't read the same rag. At least you had some positive lines in the article, whereas the one I read was a 5 liners - in a free daily Vancouver newspaper - that only reported no difference in nutrients according to a study done at Stanford University. Wow. Stanford is one of the most prestigious universities in North America - in California of all places - and they come up with such garbage? I was stunned! I think the study was financed by Monsanto and his clowns. It's sad that a lot of people will believe that and even feel better about themselves buying garbage.
    I want to scream!

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  3. I agree 100%...I wonder how much influence big agra and the chemical companies have on these studies. makes you suspicious when they try to divert the attentino away from the core issue.

    there have even been studies showing no difference in flavour between conventional and organic produce...again, a totally irrelevant issue.


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