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Last week, a study out of Stanford University concluded that organic fruits, vegetables and meats are not more nutritious than their conventional counterparts.  The publishing of this study created much controversy amongst farmers, producers, food bloggers, and dietitians, to name just a few.  As an avid supporter of organic and local produce, I wanted to share this great article from the Huffington Post that serves as a counter-argument and answers the question “Why buy organic?”

I thought this topic was certainly timely, and worthy of a re-post!  Follow the link at the bottom for the full article in the Huffington Post

Stanford Organic Food Study: Amidst Pushback, Co-Author Acknowledges Limitations

Last week, a controversial study concluding that organic food has no real health benefit over conventionally grown food received a great deal of media attention. But there was also a wave of backlash.

So what exactly was the problem? Some argued that the study’s conclusions were being oversimplified and some pointed out that even if its media-grabbing assessment was true, that hosts of other reasons why organic farming and produce might be preferable were being overlooked.

    • NYU professor Marion Nestle pointed out that the study did in fact confirm that organic food reduces exposure to pesticides and antibiotics. Nestle writes that the authors found organic food was “doing exactly what it is supposed to.”
    • Michael Pollan agreed, saying that this is not new research and he’s seen “exact same data analyzed in a very different direction.” He said, “we’re kind of erecting a straw man and then knocking it down, the straw man being that the whole point of organic food is that it’s more nutritious. The whole point of organic food is that it’s more environmentally sustainable. That’s the stronger and easier case to make.”
    • Bloomberg restaurant critic Ryan Sutton argued that headlines about organic food not being healthier misses the point of the study altogether. “We pay more for organic or free range products because we believe it’s the right thing to do,” he wrote. “We want to support the farmers and growers who treat their animals, their crops and mother nature’s land with respect and dignity.”
  • Tom Philpott of Mother Jones writes that “the study in some places makes a strong case for organic—though you’d barely know it from the language the authors use.” He names five reasons the study sells organics short, including an oversimplification of pesticide exposure. He writes, ” the study seriously underplays the benefit of going organic to avoid pesticide traces, especially for vulnerable populations like pregnant women and kids.”

Read the full length article here

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