Organic foods definitely have a lower pesticide load, and furthermore they are supposed to be free of GMOs, which has become a major reason why I buy them. Also, although I read the recent articles about nutrition in organic foods, the researchers have strong ties to Big Ag and their results are therefore somewhat suspect. It's hard to believe that organic foods grown on naturally enriched soils without artificial fertilizers or chemicals wouldn't have more beneficial micronutrients and minerals than conventionally-grown products. So I'll pay the extra for organic, and grow organically in my own garden.
In fact, the findings found much less pesticide in the organic produce. I suspect the researchers' ties compromised their accuracy, but this report is even more biased, implying that there is no difference at all. Incidentally, one of the reasearchers has ties to Cargill and in the past did "research" for the tobacco companies. Here is a link to a detailed critique of the study--which was not new reasearch but meta-analysis, meaning the researchers could pick which studies to include) http://organicfarms.wsu.edu/blog/devil-in-the-details.
It strikes me that this is a perfect illustration of the problem with "science" and demanding evidence, double-blind studies, peer review and so forth. Generally I trust that approach--but one needs to sniff around for bias and hidden interests. Most of the articles in peer-reviewed medical journals these days are written by people with ties to pharmaceutical companies. Do they convey good information? Busy doctors don't have time to read the articles and research the authors. Most readers of the weekly Dave's Garden posts who clicked on the Garden Myths story will not take the time to read these comments. Many news reports about the study will, like this piece, ignore the positive findings about the pesticides and imply that there is no difference at all, that one is a fool to pay any more for organic food. Or, presumably, to grow organically. And THAT WAS THE POINT of the study! Is it a coincidence that it came out just before Californians vote on whether to make labelling of GMO food mandatory--as it is in most countries?
I will take future posts in this column with a grain of doubt from now on.
Who has been advocating organic produce on the grounds that it is more nutritious? I don't think anyone has claimed that all organic fruits and vegetables have more vitamin C or carotene since Adele Davis in the 60s. People I know who prefer organically grown talk about soil tilth, sustainable farming, pesticide exposure, and chemical fertilizer runoff. (Does the study provide references for the myth they're supposedly busting?)
Yet every year or two, another study or meta-analysis is published showing that organic produce is no more nutritious than conventionally raised produce.
So what? Show me that organic farming is not better for the environment, or that organic pesticides are not safer for farm workers, and I might reconsider my choices. Keep defeating the same straw man, and I have to wonder why more important claims go unchallenged.
Looks to me like Paul Rodman can add Master of Monsanto Mumbo Jumbo and General Huckster for the Chemo-Agro Industrial Complex to his long list of accolades after penning an article as "Fact" that should have been titled, "Conventional Agriculture Myths Boasted."
I find it hard to believe OrganicGardening.com would have solicited an article from someone without a clue to its benefits to people, the environment, and the economy, nor it seems, any understanding of the apocalyptic detriments of Conventional Agriculture.
Please Paul, stay away from my children. In my opinion, the last thing this too quickly declining Earth needs is some Master Pink Slime Agriculturist teaching its children how to garden.
Well said everyone! This article is exactly the same as the coverage from the Today show recently. I'm disgusted all over again and was also thinking the timing was suspect with the upcoming vote in CA.
Purpleinopp, I know that there are loopholes in the organic labels, but it's still the best bet we've got if we want to try to avoid genetically modified foods. Just got back from France and was amused to see this sign there on a small chain food market. It says "Casino products are prepared without ingredients from GMO sources."
Thank you dawnsharon! That's exactly what I could never understand, why 'they' are telling us organic produce is no more nutritious. I never expected it to be, frankly...I expect it to be free of chemical pesticides and grown in an environmentally sustainable way. I expect it to be safer. Might not always be the case of course, but THAT is why so many people buy organic, not for nutrition value but for environmental consciousness, safety and a stand against conglomerate big-business agriculture.