What If Natural Organic Food Isn’t Healthier

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(Newswire.net — July 14, 2014)  — Consumer purchase of natural organic food is on the rise across the United States. 

Perhaps consumers are buying more organic food in order to avoid the amount of pesticides they ingest or perhaps they think it has greater nutritional value.

What if they’re wrong?

There is still a great debate about whether organic food is really better for you than any ordinary food produced by conventional means.

Much of the debate is coming from the science community.

While scientists rage on about whether organics are, or are not, more nutritious or better for you overall, consumers are weighing in with their pocket book.

Consumer polls show a significant rise in the interest in and actual purchase of organic products.  It appears they are relying on common sense instead of science to guide their choices.

For example, according to a 2013 survey by the Organic Trade Association, nic Trade 8 out of 10 parents surveyed in the U.S. reported that they buy organic products at least some of the time.

While the general population seems to believe that organic food is better for you the scientific community doesn’t always agree.

The majority of vegetables, fruits and grains are still grown using man-made chemicals and pesticides. As long as they are grown according to the FDA guidelines, these foods are considered ‘safe’ for consumption.

Even governments are getting in on the act.

Witness the plight of French winegrower Emmanuel Giboulot, who was recently fined for refusing to spray grapes with pesticides.  Giboulot was threatened with a possible six month jail sentence and thousands of dollars in fines.  

This stirred up wine growers and “green” proponents alike all over the country. One petition gathered over half a million signatures in a show of support.

The problem started when one insect was blamed for causing a blight called flavescence dorée that is deadly for grapes.  The government passed regulations that growers must use pesticides and crop spraying in hopes it will eradicate the pest. Nevermind what it does to humans.

Giboulot ultimately got smacked with a fine for making a stand.

So what causes scientists to debate over whether growing products organically produces healthier food?

Natural organic food, by definition, would have been grown without the use of toxic chemical pesticides and has lower levels of toxic metals.  That seems like that would make it less toxic to humans, right?

The question for scientists is whether all that extra care makes any real difference in our health.

Numerous studies have been done that appear to substantiate the claims that it makes no difference at all. 

Recently a new study has appeared conducted by Professor Carlo Leifert and his team at Newcastle University.  They analyzed 343 scientific studies that compared organic fruit to conventional food and found “statistically significant, meaningful” differences, with a range of antioxidants being “substantially higher” – between 19% and 69% – in organic food.”

According to the authors of the study “Many of these compounds have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including CVD and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers, in dietary intervention and epidemiological studies. “

Yet, one of the biggest debates remains.  That is whether increased antioxidants are actually good for you.

The National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine (NCACM) provided this research saying “Rigorous scientific studies involving more than 100,000 people combined have tested whether antioxidant supplements can help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and cataracts. In most instances, antioxidants did not reduce the risks of developing these diseases.”

The key word here is ‘supplements” versus antioxidants found in natural foods.

When talking about supplements there could be a difference versus organic foods, especially since some high doses have been found to have adverse effects on health.

When it comes to organic food itself, though, one obvious result of growing vegetables and fruits organically is the significant reduction of pesticide residue on the food.

 Considering that pesticides are used to kill pest, the question is, what does it do to people who regularly ingest it?

There are plenty of examples of people becoming sick due to pesticides including the extreme case of an herbicide produced by Monsanto that has been linked to a fatal kidney disease. http://truth-out.org/news/item/24876-monsantos-herbicide-linked-to-fatal-kidney-disease-epidemic-will-ckdu-topple-monsanto

One has to wonder why some scientists are so resistant to the idea that organic could be better for you.

There are still scientists who claim that it has not been proven that these added benefits of less toxins, more antioxidants may result in better nutrition for people.

One such scientist commented that people may be buying organics more for lifestyle choices that supports care for the environment and avoiding chemical residues than for actual health benefit.

The Soil Association, a non-profit organization that was founded by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists in 1946 has this to say about that:

 “Good food, the best food, is organically grown, minimally processed, fairly traded, fresh and seasonal. And this food should be a right, not a privilege: we want to make sure everyone has access to food that is healthy for them and the planet.”

The bottom line is that unless there is even more proof that organic is better, the debate will continue.

Are you as a consumer better off for it? 

Let your wallet do the talking.