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Say what you want about organic food production and produce, but proponents of organics can’t claim that organic food is more nutritious. That’s according to a study out of the Stanford School of Medicine, which concluded definitively that organically produced fruits and veggies offered the same level of nutrients.

There are some distinct differences between the two, however, that may or may not sway your decision in choosing to buy (or produce) organic food. One, is price, as organic food is offered at a significant premium to conventionally grown food. The study also confirmed higher levels of pesticide residues on conventionally grown food, but notes that those levels are still well within what’s considered safe.

Perhaps the most telling conclusion to the research is the one not likely to be highlighted or debated; we all need to be eating more fruits and vegetables. Regardless of how the produce is grown, and whether or not it tastes better or is perceived as better for the environment, North Americans need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Any perceived or real health benefit is moot if we’re not eating enough fresh food.

Do you buy organic? Why or why not?

(Lyndsey here. Editor’s note: About the only organic produce I buy is organic apples, and not because of any perceived health benefit. I like that organic apples are smaller — the perfect serving size for my four year old. Less waste is important in my books.)

8 thoughts on “Sorry, Organics Are Not More Nutritious

  1. This study has various holes in it. If your sole goal is to somehow prove organic food is no better instead of how the two can coexist, you’re working for a goal that benefits no one. This study continues to try and exemplify in some way how organic food is not as healthy or equally as healthy as conventional food. However the basis of this study and its claims in the title revolve around only the nutrient levels in foods. My question is, how brain washed are you to believe a pepper organically grown to one conventionally grown is going to offer substantially higher nutrient levels? This study shows a 38%-7% range from conventional to organic respectively, pesticide residue on produce. Further it notes the presence of antibiotic residue in meats and how organic chicken and pork, two of the heaviest medicated meats in agriculture due to their living conditions, reduce exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A further study in the New York Times also highlighted there is a clear link between antibiotic resistant bacteria and the residue in meat. This study acknowledges there have been no long term studies done as well, their studies range in length from 2 days to 2 years. This study does nothing to neither confirm nor deny true health benefits from organic foods compared to conventional. This study has done nothing but create static noise in the discussion of organic and conventional farming. This study lacks any true substance or merit to boast such a title. The real discussion should be over the coexistence of organic and conventional farming. They both offer benefits in their own way.

  2. Andrew thanks for enlightening us all. The Stanford School of Medicine is well known for its biased views and obviously had an agenda from the beginning (incase it isn’t obvious, note sarcasm). And thank you for the reference to the scientific journal known as the New York TImes, that certainly sets the record straight (yes, that was sarcasm again).

  3. I hate Tomatoes…until now that is!
    Two beautiful, big, ripe, red tomatoes from my neighbours garden knocked my socks off, the flavour was to die for…the taste was so good…and they didn’t use chemicals to grow them.
    Immediately I bought two beautiful, big, red tomatoes from my local Super Store and I couldn’t believe how lousy they taste…threw one out…just crap. Now I know why I hate tomatoes.
    Maybe, just maybe, one of the reasons people don’t eat more fruits and vegetables is they buy them from their local super markets and they taste like crap most of the time!

  4. George, the most likely reason your neighbors tomato was much tastier is because it was ripened on the vine, while the grocery bought tomato was picked very green and ripened during freight. Regardless of how either was grown, with supplemental nutrition or without, vine ripened tomatoes will always be sweeter. Same situation applies to any fruits. If you ever get a chance, try oranges and grapefruits that are ripened on the trees rather than in freight. Wow!

  5. Your absolutely right Chris…all fruits and vegetables picked and eaten right off the plant have phenomenal tastes…pineapple is my favourite. However, fruits don’t ripen fast enough during transportation and it is a known fact that they are exposed to Ethylene Gas to speed up their ripening, which is a natural gas that the fruits themselves produce. In the process, I think speeding the ripening up this way affects the taste. My question would be…if the taste is lost, such as in the tomatoes I bought…then what nutrients are lacking in the tasteless fruits we buy?

  6. Jeff – did you really think the New York Times did a study on this? This us USDA data, released by the US government and the New York Times did what it did, reported on the release of those numbers. This is a study of previous data… Yes I don’t really think they came up with any ground breaking information here. You can’t look at one aspect when trying to debate the nutritional value of a good. Do we know if GMO’s are harmful? Well since the only evidence that they’re not is provided conveniently from the largest GMO manufacturer, Monsanto, I’m not going to say definitively that they are good for us. Do we know the long term effects of pesticide exposure? Well no we don’t, could that effect our health and as a result the true nutritional value of foods? Or the fact that there is a greater presence of antibiotics in non-organic meat and that there is a link between those antibiotics and the creation of superbugs. This study, of other studies, should be taken with a grain of salt. There are far more factors to consider when discussing nutritional value.

  7. Is Organic fruits and vegetables better? Yes and No! Personal Example – conventional Strawberries in the spring tested 12 Brix level with my Refractor Meter from Lee Valley. 2 weeks later in my grocery store I see strawberries from the same farm, one Organic and the other not labeled Organic. The Organic was 6 Brix level, the conventional grown (Pesticides & Hebicides & regular Fertilizers),
    was a 7 Brix level. Both were tasteless! Conclusion- Farm was recently certified to cash in on Organics but had not the soil with a lot of microbes and bacteria in it.

    But, the Strawberries from Harvest Haven Health was an 18 Brix level, excellent is 16. Sweet!

    Could someone find out where the research money came from for the University with verification.

    Last week I spoke to a grandmother that told me that her daughter’s Doctor told the Daughter that he would not promise a baby but there was a good chance that maybe her periods would be regular which had never been. Good news! In 2 months her periods were regular and in 5 months after both her and her husband ate 100% Organic, she became pregnant. I have heard this so often that I can not count how many. The sperm is effected also by the pesticides.
    According to Mitch Hein, antibodies from women with a rare condition known as immune infertility, isolated the genes that regulated the manufacture of those infertility antibodies, and using genetic engineering techniques, had inserted the genes into ordinary corn seeds used to produce corn plants. In this manner, in reality they produced a concealed contraceptive embedded in corn meant for human consumption. If anyone has this info also, please verify.

    Check out the Doctor that M.S. and in 9 months went from using 2 canes to riding her bike 18 miles in one day by going Organic raw & pasture feed meats (no grain fed), fish, and sea weed. Hear her on You tube, The Bovine Word Press Dec.25th,2011, Michael Schmidt.

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