4 September 2012

A recent review of research by Smith-Spangler and colleagues (2012) is being touted in the mass media as proof that organic food isn't healthier than conventional alternatives. The media interpretation seems to be a bit misleading. While the study did conclude that the nutritional value was similar for both (which isn't a big surprise since the organic foods are usually genetically the same as conventional foods), it reported some findings that would suggest advantages for organic choices. For example, two of the reviewed studies reported significantly lower urinary pesticide levels among children consuming organic diets than conventional ones. Personally, I suspect that the advantages of organic foods might not justify the extra cost--especially for those of us on tight budgets. That said, the study certainly doesn't prove that there aren't advantages. Many of the chemical compounds that end up in our food haven't been researched enough to really know for sure whether existing levels are safe.

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