Confused By Contradictory Studies?

Study Finds Organic & Conventional Produce Equal…

A recent study published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found the health benefit from organic produce is not statistically different from conventionally grown produce.

The National Food Institute in Denmark findings are opposite from everything we’ve heard about organic food:

“In the current study, onions, carrots, and potatoes were cultivated in two-year field trials in three different geographical locations, comprising one conventional and two organic agricultural systems…On the basis of the present study carried out under well-controlled conditions, it cannot be concluded that organically grown onions, carrots, and potatoes generally have higher contents of health-promoting secondary metabolites in comparison with the conventionally cultivated ones.”

Kylie says something about
this study smells funny.

Buyer Beware
Be cautious of pundits making sweeping accusations about the nutritional value of organic food from a single study. Several factors need to be considered when analyzing any study, especially one concerning food.

First, reporting of this story may make it appear that their results translates to all produce. The Denmark study included only three foods: onions, carrots and potatoes. All three are root vegetables.

Check It Out
Next, don’t rely on data from only one study. No mention is made of studies with berries, green veggies and tomatoes. These organic foods have been found to be higher in nutrients than conventionally grown. Other studies have found organically grown fruits and vegetables have nutritional concentrations ranging from 30 percent to three times as much as their commercially grown counterparts.

Organic produce tends to have more nutrients because they are grown in good quality soil. Perhaps the study in question controlled the soil used for both crops. This would certainly alter their results. Further, because the growth of conventional produce is usually artificially sped up using chemicals, they tend to contain more water and less actual solid food content.

For a sampling of studies concluding that organic produce have higher nutrients than conventionally grown, the Organic Trade Association lists numerous current studies.

What’s NOT Mentioned
Lastly, organic produce tastes better and is free of harmful chemicals used in farming, or at least much less of it. The absence of harmful synthetic chemicals such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides is enough reason for me to purchase organic. In addition, the study made no mention of genetically modified seeds. We can only assume GM seeds were not used in either crop, because of the European ban. That’s certainly not the case in the U.S. Organic-labeled food, by definition is GMO-free. Another factor to consider is organic produce retains the nutrients for longer periods of time.

Especially for the picky eater, whose list of preferred foods is limited, I recommend purchasing the highest quality food.


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