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Old 12-02-2016, 05:59 AM
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Default Is Organic Food Really Healthier?

Is organic food really healthier?

Published: Dec 2, 2016 3:32 a.m. ET

The majority of Americans think organic food has more nutritional value, a new study found.




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When you load up your shopping cart with organic leafy greens, are you getting more nutritional benefits than consumers on the other side of the produce aisle? More than half of Americans now believe organic food is healthier than conventionally-grown produce, even though there is no evidence to prove it.

Fifty-five percent of Americans said they believed organic food to be more nutritional, a recent Pew Research Center study found — and of the 40% of Americans who say that “some” of the food they buy is organic, 75% do so because they believe it is healthier.

“That is what 20 years of intensive marketing will do,” said Steve Savage, an agriculture expert and writer on farming and sustainability. Organic farming sales hit record highs in 2015, up 11% from the previous year at $43.3 billion, and is now more profitable than traditional farming. Despite the craze for organic food, Savage says there is no proven scientific reason to believe there are health benefits to opting for it. One 2012 study from Stanford University reviewed 237 top papers on the topic and found no evidence of a significant difference in health benefits between produce grown organically versus conventionally grown food.

“Many people believe organic is safer, but that belief is not based on any facts,” he said. “For the most part, if people saved their money and bought more fruits and veggies they would be better off nutritionally.”

In this particular survey, nutritional value was cited as the main reason to purchase organic, but consumers also do so because they believe it has fewer pesticides. Savage said this is not necessarily true. Although organic farmers are required to steer clear of synthetic fertilizers, they are allowed to use other tools that could be relatively toxic, despite being considered organic — copper sulfate, for example, is USDA-approved to be used as fungicide. Organic farming is also not necessarily better for the environment than traditional farming, according to Scientific American magazine, which has studied science discoveries and technology innovations since 1845. And organic farming methods are more resource-intensive and don’t work well with no-till farming methods, which minimize long-term effects on soil quality. Many organic products are also imported from abroad, leading to additional safety and regulation concerns.

Savage said he worries the growing consumer doubt in non-organic food systems can lead to poor dietary choices. One study showed low-income families in Chicago actually avoided buying produce at all because they could not afford organic food and and believed non-organic varieties were unhealthy.

“People are doubting the food supply — and that is one thing for people who can afford to spend money on something that isn’t true — but low-income people now either hesitate to buy produce or buy less than they might otherwise buy because this image that has been created that it is not safe.”

However, Cary Funk, an associate research director at Pew Research Center and author on the study, said although the majority of Americans now think organic food is healthier, that doesn’t necessarily mean those people are buying organic produce. Millennials, for example, were more inclined than older adults to consider organic food better for one’s health but were no more likely to purchase it.

Unlike many studies in the past, this survey found attitudes toward organic food are not split by political views or other demographics, but based largely on beliefs about health and the food system in general — 81% of people who care a great deal about genetically modified food think organics are healthier than traditionally grown produce, for example.

“These divisions in how people think about food and well-being seem to reflect more personalized concerns about the role of food in people’s health and well being rather than politics or other divides,” Funk said.
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Old 12-05-2016, 04:37 AM
$ Saving HS Sophomore
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The 'expert' quoted in the study has spent much of his time working for companies that produce pesticides so I would take this with a grain of salt. I do think it isn't black and white, but with the amount of chemicals sprayed on non-organic veggies, it isn't a risk I'm willing to take.

More studies are also pointing to the evidence that vegetables grown without pesticides are more nutrient rich.

I buy mostly organic because I buy mostly locally produced vegetables. They aren't certified organic because they don't pay for that label, but I know the farmers and I meet the chickens that lay the eggs we eat. They are as free-range as can be -- no fences.

We need to continue to demand testing to make sure the chemicals we spray our food with are safe not only to us but to our environment -- we still don't know exactly what is getting to the bees.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:03 PM
$ Saving Fifth Grader
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Yes but more expensive.
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:30 AM
$ Saving College Freshman
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It's good for weight loss ...... in your billfold.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:42 AM
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Location: Illinois
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I just can't understand why someone would think that organic means more nutritious. An orange is an orange and it can't be made to be anything different unless it was genetically modified (and then can't be labeled as organic). Organic means it wasn't hosed down with unapproved pesticides and isn't GMO. That's it. It doesn't even mean that it is pesticide-free.

I also wouldn't believe the study that is cited in the article. Scientific American also stated that organic farming DOES improve the soil and CAN improve yields. It just depends on who is funding the study.

The bottom line is do you want to eat those pesticides? I don't. I also don't pay an arm and a leg for organic. If you want to buy fresh, buy in season. If you buy frozen, buy in bulk. I usually pay the same or less for organic foods. When I have to pay more, it is only a little more than conventional. I guess I'm blessed with more grocery stores than I can shop at around here.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:16 PM
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I wish they could do a reasonably accurate study to identify how much, healthy organic, leafy green, yellow or other vegetables are actually consumed and how much grows limp and unpleasant in the fridge to eventually be thrown out.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:15 PM
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Just because it is organic doesn't mean it is healthy. Pretty sure Organic cane sure will still cause diabetes if you gorged out on it. lol

I'm all for more organic stuff, but at the end of the day you just need to do the best you can. You are better off taking detox minerals and such like DE. It's cheaper. haha
Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you're stupid and make bad choices.
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