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​Flaws in the "Organic Food" Study

Last month there was a great deal of media attention paid to a study about organic food (Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review), which was widely cited for concluding that "[there is no] evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods." But the study is more spin than significant science.

A critique of the viagra for sale cheap study in the New York Times by columnist and cialis cost food writer Mark Bittman points out the weaknesses and oversimplifications in the study that have been used to "debunk" organic food based on criteria that are significantly immaterial to the organic label.

Bittman says of the study, "[it] was like declaring guns no more dangerous than baseball bats when it comes to blunt-object head injuries. It was the equivalent of comparing milk and Elmer’s glue on the basis of whiteness. It did, in short, miss the point." The other half of the conclusion of the study, "Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria," was much more overlooked.

Organic food has never been about some perception of super-food with extra nutritional value, except perhaps to those who don't understand organic in the first place. But this study was so narrow in its definitiion of "nutritious" (which was taken to mean "containing more vitamins") that, as Bittman points out, "you can claim that, based on nutrients, Frosted Flakes are a better choice than an apple."

The benefits of organic farming are numerous, and are far beyond relative comparison of the amount of buy fioricet some vitamin content. Not only are there potential individual benefits (the aforementioned reduced exposure to pesticide residue and so forth), but contributing to free sample levitra such broader environmental benefits as reduced pesticide use and more sustainable farming practices are also worthwhile goals.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Ragesoss

via: NY Times (apologies; this may be behind their paywall)

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Comments (9)Add Comment
Read the abstract and decide for yourselves
written by Chris Squire, October 17, 2012
Here’s the abstract of this very solid piece of work:

Purpose: To review evidence comparing the cialis 20mg one a day health effects of organic and cialis prescription label conventional foods.
Data Sources: MEDLINE . . and bibliographies of retrieved articles.

. . Data Synthesis: 17 studies in humans and 223 studies of nutrient and contaminant levels in foods met inclusion criteria. Only 3 of the human studies examined clinical outcomes, finding no significant differences between populations by food type for allergic outcomes (eczema, wheeze, atopic sensitization) or symptomatic Campylobacter infection.

Two studies reported significantly lower urinary pesticide levels among children consuming organic versus conventional diets, but studies of biomarker and nutrient levels in serum, urine, breast milk, and semen in adults did not identify clinically meaningful differences. All estimates of differences in nutrient and contaminant levels in foods were highly heterogeneous except for the estimate for phosphorus; phosphorus levels were significantly higher than in conventional produce, although this difference is not clinically significant.

The risk for contamination with detectable pesticide residues was lower among organic than conventional produce . . Escherichia coli contamination risk did not differ between organic and conventional produce. Bacterial contamination of viagra prices retail chicken and pork was common but unrelated to farming method. However, the risk for isolating bacteria resistant to 3 or more antibiotics was higher in conventional than in organic chicken and pork . .

Limitation: Studies were heterogeneous and limited in number, and publication bias may be present.

Conclusion: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Most Important Reason to Eat Organic Foods
written by Carol S. , October 17, 2012
The most important reason to eat organic foods has pretty much always been to reduce one's exposure to pesticide chemicals. Reducing one's intake of superbacteria is also an important criterion. More nutrition - has always been a tough call. I will continue to viagra dosage eat organic foods when I can, for Reason #1, and because to me they have more flavour.
Organics vs. "Commercial" food
written by Stephen Jones, October 19, 2012
We humans think we are so clever. A simple unanswered question might help put the topic in perspective.
How many compounds are present in compost that is made up of truly organic material, and how many compounds are present in commercial fertilizer? The answer to the first is unknown, the second is fda approved cialis very well known. If the first cannot be answered, then the distinction cannot ever be made.
written by Q, October 28, 2012
While I myself try to eat as organic as possible to reduce the amount of chemicals I'm putting into my body. A study like this seems to be set up to be quoted by all major players who have the potential to follow link viagra india face profit losses if people switch to eating only organic foods. While most of the people who eat organic understand what that label on food means. The "mass markets" seem to be just coming onto the idea of eating more organic foods and an easily misquoted study such as this can be used to say there is no scientifically recognized benefit to organic foods. This misquotation can easily misinform those who read it and levitra mexico take it for face value.

This is upsetting to me since I personally would love to have more organic options and more accessibility to organic options for everyone. The real problem is that studies like this can be used to hinder the online cialis canada expansion of those options and their accessibility. This then forces some people to original brand cialis not have the choice for organic foods if they are trying to avoid the over-consumption of the chemicals used to treat non-organic foods.
written by Elizabeth Miller, November 24, 2012
The keyword that they use is significantly, you can define significantly to mean a substantial amount of more nutrients.
written by Stay Healthy with Organic Products, March 01, 2013
This was something really informative and something that everyone should know. If people still don't use organic food, they will start having it after the post.
written by Eustace, July 29, 2013
Not in a specific country but also in every country organic foods are considered as the most vital food for every one. As we got all nutrition from these all go for these. Organic foods are free from toxic substance, chemical etc. Organic foods are always hygienic for health.
Organic is the new black
written by Triti, September 04, 2013
Organic is definitely trendy, but I think it is so for a good reason. Just because the label is confusing, or whatever the argument, doesn't mean that organic producers aren't trying to make their produce just a little bit more healthy.
written by smart home, April 29, 2014
You can claim that, based on nutrients, Frosted Flakes are a better choice than an apple.

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