You probably already saw the news reports on a study out of Stanford reporting that organic foods do not have more nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) than conventionally grown foods. If you want to read the coverage, you can check out this article from the NY Times: Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce.
In case you don’t read it, here are the conclusions from their study:
- Fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts
- Organic foods were not any less likely to be contaminated by dangerous bacteria like E. coli.
- Conventional fruits and vegetables did have more pesticide residue, but the levels were almost always under the allowed safety limits, the scientists said.
Bottom Line: The researchers found no obvious health advantages to organic meats.
The response I heard from people was…
“So What?!? I don’t buy organic foods because I think they are higher in nutrients. I buy them because they are lower in pesticides and have fewer food additives!”
From my experience, this is true for most people. But it’s never a bad thing to have the facts on things. If this study came out showing that organic foods were higher in nutrients, everyone would be saying: DUH! I told you!
Organic Food Facts:
It’s important to be objective when evaluating information, and always examine why you make certain decisions. What are the facts? I have covered the issue of organic foods and cancer in the past. You might want to review my conclusions here: Should I Buy Organic? Cancer Prevention and the Dirty Dozen List.
I think it’s interesting that they did not find significant level of pesticides that were above the EPA’s limit. However, many of us don’t want to eat pesticides if we don’t have to. Using the Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group is a very practical way to know which conventional foods have the most pesticides. Here’s a link to their 2012 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
Julie’s conclusions: I am not surprised by the findings from Stanford. I think buying local foods is actually more important (and oftentimes cheaper!). The less a food has to travel before you eat it, the better. I buy organic from the ‘dirty dozen’ list, and often for milk and meat, because it tastes better to me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue!
Cancer Dietitian Video Interview:
I have to give a big THANK YOU! to Kyle Swicegood, who produced this last minute interview this morning. I was honored to be able to come and talk to the staff at Century 21 Triad in Mocksville. We had a fun time discussing the myths and truths surrounding nutrition and cancer.
After the session, Kyle transformed the room into a video studio and we did an impromptu Q&A on Cancer Fighting Foods. I think it turned out very well and I appreciate that Kyle was willing to share his skills!
Enjoy! Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to do more soon!