Is organic food actually better? Here’s what the science says

It happens to all of us. You’re in the supermarket, you’re buying vegetables and produce, and you’re faced with the inevitable choice: regular or organic? It’s a surprisingly complex question, that carries a different significance for different people. For some, organic means healthier, or more nutritious. For others, it means eco-friendly, or tastier. It can mean clean, good, or just… more expensive. But several scientific studies and reports are starting to add up and show that organic food is not as good as most people think.

Higher price is not higher quality

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The organic food industry was estimated at $29 billion in 2010, and since then, it’s grown by almost 10% a year; that seems to be a good thing. I mean, who doesn’t want healthier food that’s better for the environment? But let’s look at the economics. In March, a Consumer Reports analysis found that, on average, organic food is 47% more expensive than regular food. The USDA numbers are similar. Of course, organic food is a bit more expensive to make than regular food, but a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that it’s only 5-7% more expensive, so the price difference is not really justified; it also means that organic farming has become more profitable than regular farming. In other words, from a price point of view, organic has become a synonym for luxury.

Organic food is the fastest growing sector of the American food industry, and its price is just too high. But hey, it’s good for you, right?

Organic food and your health

Spoiler alert: there is very little scientific evidence to support any health benefits for organic products. In fact, there is growing evidence that a diet rich in organic products isn’t actually better for you.

“There’s a definite lack of evidence,” says researcher Crystal Smith-Spangler at Stanford University School of Medicine, especially when it comes to studies of people.

A 2009 meta-analysis (a study of other studies) said there was no nutrient difference in organic versus conventional foods. But that was one of the first major studies focusing on organic food – since then, we’ve had more and more researchers analyzing the situation… but they came up with similar results. A 2012 study found slightly higher phosphorus levels in the organic produce, and a 2014 study found higher antioxidant levels and lower cadmium levels in organic food. Those are good things, but the differences weren’t spectacular, and certainly don’t justify the price difference.

In 2012, another massive meta-analysis was published. A Stanford team analyzed 240 studies: 17 comparing populations consuming organic and conventional diets, and 223 studies that compared either the nutrient levels or the bacterial, fungal or pesticide contamination of various products (fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, milk, poultry, and eggs) grown organically and conventionally. They report little significant difference in health benefits between organic and conventional foods, as well as no consistent differences in the vitamin content of organic products. In fact, only one nutrient (again, phosphorous) was significantly higher in organic versus conventionally grown produce. Protein and fat content were also similar, although a significant difference was reported in organic milk, which contained higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

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“Some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious,” said Crystal Smith-Spangler, MD, MS, an instructor in the school’s Division of General Medical Disciplines and a physician-investigator at VA Palo Alto Health Care System, who is also an instructor of medicine at the School of Medicine. “We were a little surprised that we didn’t find that.” It’s important to note that the research wasn’t funded by any company with an interest in organic or regular agriculture. As a matter of fact, the authors went on to underline the other benefits of organic farming – environmental and animal welfare benefits. “Our goal was to shed light on what the evidence is,” said Smith-Spangler. “This is information that people can use to make their own decisions based on their level of concern about pesticides, their budget and other considerations.”

 

Organic foods and the environment

This part was actually the most surprising for me. I was practically certain that organic food is more environmentally friendly and ethical than regular food – and in a way, it is. Organic animal farming is without a doubt more ethical and offers better life conditions for the animals. Organic principles and regulations are also designed to ensure that animals are treated humanely, or, to be brutally honest, as humanely as possible. There are strict rules on the way in which animals are housed, guaranteeing a degree of comfort for the animals. But when it comes to vegetables, the situation is quite different.

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The most discussed environmental advantage of organic foods is that they don’t have any chemical pesticides, but a 2010 study found that some organic pesticides can actually have a worse environmental impacts than conventional ones. You see, most people think organic food doesn’t involve any pesticides, but it does. When the Soil Association, a major organic accreditation body in the UK, asked consumers why they buy organic food, 95% of them said their top reason was to avoid pesticides. Also, because organic food is completely non-GMO and therefore some plants are less resistant, in some cases, more pesticides have to be used (organic pesticides, but still pesticides) — and the difference between organic pesticides and regular pesticides is not that big. In fact, it’s the fact that organic pesticides come from natural sources, and are not processed, but they sometimes contain the exact same substances as regular pesticides.

As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article (“Are lower pesticide residues a good reason to buy organic? Probably not.”): “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones.”

But it’s not just pesticides – the entire environmental impact of organic crops is just as big (and sometimes bigger) than conventional farming – researchers at Oxford university analyzed 71 peer-reviewed studies and observed that organic products are sometimes worse for the environment. Organic milk, cereals, and pork generated higher greenhouse gas emissions per product than conventional ones but organic beef and olives had lower emissions in most studies.

Usually, organic products require less energy, but take up more land – 84% more land on average. Per unit of product, organic produce generates higher nitrogen leaching, nitrous oxide emissions, ammonia emissions and has more acidification potential. The yield is also generally lower (55% less in England, for example). Besides, a recent study found that because organic agriculture is now done mostly by big corporations instead of not local producers, and the lower yields combined with the intensive use of machinery means that overall, in terms of emissions and pollution, organic agriculture is usually worse than conventional.

Some studies have highlighted the potential of organic agriculture to stabilize and reduce soil erosion, but I haven’t been able to find a satisfying meta analysis.

Another disappointing aspect I found while researching this article is that organic farms (at least in the US) don’t really treat their workers that well.

“The exploitative conditions that farmworkers face in the US are abysmal—it’s a human-rights crisis,” Richard Mandelbaum, a policy analyst at the Farmworker Support Committee, told Grist. “In terms of wages and labor rights, there’s really no difference between organic and conventional.”

So, what should we do?

I’m not saying all organic food is bad — not at all. Buying and eating healthy, sustainable food is a main concern for me, and just like anyone else (perhaps even more so), I care a lot about what I eat. But the bottom line is that if you want healthier foods and minimize your environmental impact, you should buy local — whether it’s organic or not. Local produce is cost competitive with supermarkets, the goods will be fresher, less CO2 is emitted and local producers will generally be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Besides, you’ll be promoting local businesses instead of the major corporations taking over organic farming.

I expect a massive hate train to follow this article, but I thoroughly encourage you to express your opinion and address us in the comment section. Just please, keep in mind that just because something is branded as healthy and eco-friendly doesn’t make it so. Keep an open mind and constantly challenge your beliefs with scientific evidence and facts. That’s what we strive to promote here.

EDIT: A study published after the original publication date of this article found that organic food is, on average, worse for the climate. The reason why organic food is so much worse for the climate is that the yields per hectare are much lower, primarily because fertilizers are not used. This leads to greater land use which in turn, increases carbon dioxide emissions.

155 thoughts on “Is organic food actually better? Here’s what the science says

  1. Andrei Mihai

    It’s all based on science, we don’t get paid by anyone and don’t have any interest in this matter (nothing to gain one way or another).

  2. Loren Turner

    The best food to eat is from your local farmer’s market, or grow it yourself. We grow our own veggies, eggs and milk. I do my best to shop local for everything else we need. Support local farmers, vote with your wallet

  3. ambroseviparatin

    The long-term toxic effects of conventionally grown vegetable products, and the animals fed with them are just now becoming available for review. As you’ve stated many times in your article, there aren’t many analyses available – individual OR meta. And results for the long-term effects of eating organically grown food, whether local produce or large agribusiness farms (and I agree there IS a significant difference)… is even poorer in available studies/results. These fields of study are just too new.

    I feel you missed a bet here however, in passing lightly over the difference in Omega-3 values in organically produced food. A large cohort of nutritionists are now in agreement that our 60-75 year long switch to vastly higher Omega-6 values in our food products (mainly from switching almost entirely to corn and soy products in so many foods, and feeding these to our feed livestock, also)… is a major driver in many of our ‘diseases of excess’. The deadly ‘four horsemen’ of the metabolic syndrome.

  4. Brian Donovan

    First you have define organic. The big business is getting into organic and pushing the limits to healthy organic with questionable organic pesticides is not surprise.

    Search studies that show organic food is better

    There are plenty of them.

    The chemical farming industry spend billions of dollar on pr, influence and their own studies. Funding biases results. There are studies that prove that too.

    There are studies that show organic gets better yields long terms than chemical farming.

    There are studies that show bacteria does not infect the insides of organic produce like it does chemical farmed produce.

    With so much money at state, you can find studies that support the most expensive methods and show the others are bad for you. The big industry studies will always overwhelm all others.

  5. Graeme Thorpe

    Interesting article, I would like to add my comments. We in Fiji, have the best of both worlds !. We grow here, conventionally, GMO,Gluten,Pesticide/Insecticide FREE root and tree crops, such as ; Fresh Ginger,Cassava (Yuca) Taro, Breadfruit, Jackfruit, Sour Sop, Papaya, and others,so we have a very unique situation, possibly not found in too many other countries, if any !.Why?. Because we are located 2,000 kms in the Sth.Pacific Ocean, from the nearest developed country, thus fortunately have very few pests and diseases.Would be interested to hear from potential Company’s, who would be interested to discuss with us, importing./distributing our “gold mine” health laden products.

  6. Godfree Roberts

    Let Google guide you to the light.

    And while you’re at it, let your body guide you, too. Try this experiment: eat only organic food for 30 days.
    Try switching back to the other stuff.
    QED

  7. papabear13

    You’re whole argument seems to be that all the big money is influencing studies against organics…but the article makes it pretty clear that the premium price for organic makes it much more profitable. All the big corporate farms have jumped into organics for that exact reason. Why would they try and kill their own gravy train?

  8. Brian Donovan

    Organic is still a tiny part of the business. Big money always cuts corners till things break and people die.

  9. Brian Donovan

    Sure, there is the political definition, those are always accurate and correct, right? By definition. Now, let’s go into the history of who pushed what “organic” poisons on the “organic” label.

    The truth of my statements is not indicated by the links I provide. They were simply unsupported by links, because I expected people to search for it themselves. You didn’t look.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/033925_organic_farming_crop_yields.html#

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24968103

  10. Richard Bennett

    If organic means something different to you than the label, you’re pretty well out of luck in the grocery store aren’t you? Regardless of the wickedness of Big Organic, which is considerable, you aren’t able to identify goods with your required level of purity.

    If you regard Natural News as a credible source, well, god help you because you’re not helping yourself.

  11. Brian Donovan

    Organic gets higher yields:
    http://www.naturalnews.com/033925_organic_farming_crop_yields.html#
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4060
    Looking at 77 studies from the temperate areas and tropics, the Michigan team found that greater use of nitrogen-fixing crops in the world’s major agricultural regions could result in 58 million metric tons more nitrogen than the amount of synthetic nitrogen currently used every year.
    http://www.rodalewellness.com/living-well/living/organic-farming-and-food-security
    http://organicsouthafrica.co.za/organic-farming-gives-higher-yields-than-conventional-farming/
    Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming on the same amount of land—according to new findings which refute the long-standing assumption that organic farming methods cannot produce enough food to feed the global population. (no references) http://www.organicproducermag.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_id=307 same message with references.

    organic near the same yields:
    http://www.livescience.com/1712-study-organic-farming-efficient.html
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050714004407.htm
    http://12.000.scripts.mit.edu/mission2014/solutions/organic-industrial-agriculture
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4060 organic about as good or the same as chemical pharama GMO farming.
    http://news.berkeley.edu/2014/12/09/organic-conventional-farming-yield-gap/

    Organic is better nutrition:
    http://eatorganicdaily.blogspot.com/2013/02/is-more-work-needed-in-organic-vs.html organic mostly better food but chemical pharma food preferred in a couple cases.
    Organic better food. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24968103

  12. Brian Donovan

    See comment above. I predicted you would attack any source I provided. I proved about a dozens above. You should have done you own link, but you don’t want to find out that organic is better. You also didn’t not understand my original comment, and think the more paper from the most reputable publishers means correct. It’s just who has the money. You mind is based on appeals to authority, not science or reason.

  13. Magenta Bernoulli

    “Organic animal farming is without a doubt more ethical and offers better life conditions for the animals. ”

    Mihai, this is bollocks. This assumes that non-certified farmers (often disparaged as “conventional” farmers) are uniformly “unethical” and don’t want good life conditions for their animals. Stop dissing them, please.

  14. Justin

    The naturalnews article you posted has a dead link as it’s reference. The pubmed article clearly states that there are no nutritional differences between organic and non organic. Try again.

  15. Ronnie

    Eliminating GMOs is stupid and won’t provide any benefit, and eliminating pesticides is a noble goal but eating organic won’t necessarily get you any closer to doing that.

  16. Ronnie

    Sorry Brian, whether you “predicted it” or not you can’t bring Natural News into a science discussion without being laughed out of town. Start taking this issue seriously and try some big boy sources.

  17. Richard Bennett

    One source I’ve seen says 99.9% of the pesticides people ingest are created by the plants themselves. This includes things like pyrethrum, rotenone, and solanine that plants create to resist the effects of pests on their successful reproduction. That number seems high, and I don’t know what study it comes from so I can’t assert it as fact, but it’s interesting.

  18. Richard Bennett

    Look, it’s easy to distinguish credible sources from hokey ones: if a claim is supported by numerous peer-reviewed studies published in reputable journals – not pay-to-play open access journals – it’s likely to be credible. If it comes from a blog, Facebook page, or meme and is not sourced to a credible study in a reputable journal, it’s probably BS. Take that as your guide as you pursue your studies at Google University or YouTube State.

  19. Richard Bennett

    The Berkeley blog you cite that’s supposed to show that organic is nearly as productive as conventional says: “They found that organic yields are about 19.2 percent lower than conventional ones, a smaller difference than in previous estimates.” If I check the other sources, will I find similar statements?

    I’m aware that Rodale Press, a publisher of organic gardening publications that I used to read religiously in the late ’70s/early ’80s, claims to have proved organic farming is just as productive as conventional, but there are two problems with their claims:
    1) Nobody has been able to duplicate them; and
    2) If organic is just as productive as conventional, why the higher prices?

    It seems that you have some work to do, Brian.

  20. Brian Donovan

    Gee, I overestimated you. You picked the last category of links, and pretended the first and second categories did not exist.

    Read through the links in order folks. It show organic farming beating chemical pharma and GMO farming by 2 to three times in certain situations. Generally the studies show organic better in poor countries, and about the same +- 20% depending on crops, and specific type of organic and industrial farming tech compared. Not the 1/4 yields the anti organic folks have claimed. Much less water and energy intensive, and far less pollution, and toxic runoff.

  21. Brian Donovan

    Nonsense. Peer reviewed does not mean correct. Most peer reviewed
    papers eventually turn out to be wrong, that’s progress, Go read a
    bunch of Nature papers from the 1940’s: Mostly wrong ideas, bad
    methodology, bad conclusions.

    Funding of research biases results.

    Some 80% of peer review papers are on stuff funded by the industries in question.
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/14/big-pharma-tricks.aspx

    and they have a proven bias toward those industries. There’s even a peer reviewed studies that proves it.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1764435/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC156458/
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-01/chb-nsc010307.php

    http://michaelnielsen.org/blog/three-myths-about-scientific-peer-review/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review_failure

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/scientific-peer-review4.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review_failure

    http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-problem-with-scientific-peer-review.html
    http://www.naturalnews.com/041592_scientific_fraud_research_papers_junk_science.html

    You have to dig down into the details, the :”source
    material” as research call it, the actual studies, the
    biographies of the researchers, their funding which is often hidden,
    and tier logic and the smell test of their test results and if anyone
    has duplicated those results, or what percentage claim to. The same
    data can lead to polar opposite conclusions as well.

    Now with the internet, it’s not really necessary

  22. Brian Donovan

    See response. Ad hominem and appeals to authority are logical fallacies. Tell the class why.

    You turned your mind off.

  23. Richard Bennett

    That’s hilarious, we criticize Natural News and you go to the quack Mercola as a backup. Dude, that’s out of the frying pan into the fire.

    Science is a self-correcting process. When a paper produces weird results, others try to validate it. How do we know that some peer-reviewed studies are wrong, incomplete, or inconsistent? Because later peer-reviewed papers come along with the correction. So it doesn’t matter who pays for the initial study, it either stands up to later studies or it doesn’t.

    Now how do we know whether a blog post is correct? If it’s anti-science, we can expect that other anti-science blog posts will echo it, because the World of Woo is an echo chamber. When the nonsense gets too loud, pro-science bloggers may address the problem and they may not. But blogs are not as reliable as peer-reviewed studies.

    And Wikipedia should never be cited for any reason but documenting popular perceptions; it’s not science either.

  24. Brian Donovan

    See, he is so afraid you lack the intelligence to read the opposition point of view, that he must stop you for even looking.

    See it?

    Read it, decide for yourself.

  25. Richard Bennett

    I’m sorry Brian, but my powers of network invention don’t allow me to control what links others may click on. I’m saying I’m not wasting any more of my personal time on Natural News, Mercola, Food Barbie, or their ilk. One thing I can share with you is who your allies on the anti-GMO and anti-Monsanto side are: David Duke, Alex Jones, and David Icke are all with you on the theory that GMOs are conspiracy to make you ill. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuXNMkBJbNg&feature=youtu.be&t=56m52s Are you proud?

  26. Brian Donovan

    Why, you dis organic farming. The fact is farmers would get criticized if they were already farming organically: they would make more money.

    Your family farm might be all ethical, but corporate industrial farms are not.

    Corporations have no soul, no ethics, and have a legal obligation to maximize profits for the shareholders.

    Stop pretending big money cares.

  27. Brian Donovan

    80% of “sources” are industry pr and influence funded. I notice you didn’t provide a link. That’s because sources show people who makes claims without links are bluffing.

  28. Richard Bennett

    I don’t understand the kind of science you revere, Mr. Donovan: Natural News, Mercola, and organic industry spin. But the kind with public data, peer-review, and publication in a reputable journal is another thing entirely.

    Clue: osteopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, Christian Scientists, faith healers, snake handlers, Deepak Chopras, Dr. Oz’s, chiropractors and computer scientists are not doing real science.

  29. Brian Donovan

    No, had you taken the time to check out the sites, you would have found them to be referenced to peer reviewed studies. .

    But you didn’t. You have an agenda.

    You have used every rhetorical propaganda tech in the books. And we all see it.

  30. Brian Donovan

    Explain Ad hominem and appeals to authority and why they are logical fallacies.

    prove you know anything.

  31. Richard Bennett

    If you have a peer-reviewed study from a journal indexed by MEDLINE, show the actual link. I’m not generating hits for dishonest web sites like the ones you’re citing.

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  34. actionmanrandell

    the fact is those sources are absolutely 100% wrong. organic food is not at all more healthier than non organic. this is an irrefutable fact

  35. actionmanrandell

    i agree with all of your points, aside from the wikipedia 1. the only reason i don’t agree with that point is because an actual peer review study proved that Wikipedia is actually very accurate , especially when it comes to science. more so than encyclopedia britannica

  36. actionmanrandell

    you are one delusional person. the fact is that organic farms are mostly owned and operated by corporations

  37. Richard Bennett

    Wikipedia is a vast space with many good articles and many not-so-good ones. I think its fine to use it as a search tool to get to authoritative sources used as references, but the analysis is often dated or incorrect in some other meaningful way.

  38. actionmanrandell

    the fact is that you are irrefutably wrong. you are brainwashed by an industry that makes over 100 billion annually

  39. actionmanrandell

    but the fact is that studies show that Wikipedia isn’t actually as incorrect as you are saying. studies show that across the board wikipedia is between 80 and 95% accurate. to put that into perspective that is as accurate if not more accurate than your average Textbook. studies show that where wikipedia falls short is generally the opinion based articles or articles on things such as famous people. Example last time i checked the wikipedia article on bruce lee it claimed that Bruce Lee was Chuck Norris’s martial arts instructor. which is flat out wrong as Books written by both bruce and chuck state they never had a teacher student relationship. but for the most part if it’s science related than its actually pretty accurate. of course something like an article on organic food most likely would contain a lot of bias from those who believe in the industry and as such you shouldn’t go by wikipedia for your belief systems on the organic food industry.

  40. Richard Bennett

    As I said, there are many good articles in Wikipedia, but they’re all based on secondary sources – no OR – so not as good as primary sources. Scholars will occasionally cite WP, but only with caution. If you want to know who won Season 2 of American Idol it’s your go-to source.

  41. Richard Bennett

    Rodale has a dog in the fight; it’s the publisher of Organic Gardening magazine and not an unbiased research organization. Watch out for those chemtrails, the lizard people are out to get you.

  42. actionmanrandell

    what is your idea of primary sources because as i said studies prove that Wikipedia is as accurate if not more accurate than Textbooks(which many would consider a primary source)

  43. actionmanrandell

    thats the thing. some people have different definitions of what defines a primary source. in some places a primary source is a text or physical object created during the time period being studied. The Writer or Creator was present during the event or period. and that is a major flaw in relying solely on a primary source, not all primary sources are correct. if you are reading a primary source on a science and since the creation of that source Hypotheses have been proven wrong should you rely on that source? No you should try to rely on the most accurate and quality sources. in fact secondary sources should be focused on because they cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources, meaning a secondary source will most likely have more information as well as more accurate information since a primary source might not be all that accurate, example you wouldn’t rely on a 17th text on science over a newer more accurate Secondary source>

  44. Richard Bennett

    In science, primary sources are peer-reviewed journal articles. Wikipedia is good at what it does – recording conventional wisdom – but it’s not actual research.

  45. actionmanrandell

    research is kind of irrelevant when all the information is already on Wikipedia don’t you think. when actual peer review studies show that Wikipedia is actually more accurate than a text book, what exactly is wrong with using Wikipedia? if i could find all the relevant information from Wikipedia why would i go to the library and get dozens of text books? studies show that across the board in almost every subject Wikipedia is around 95% accurate. thats more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica which is considered a valued source in almost every school i have ever been to, the studies show that the only areas that its not accurate is in subjects pertaining to celebrities . on top of that ever since Wikipedia has been looked down upon they have changed there standards. if anyone posts incorrect information there IP address is flagged if they continue to do it they will eventually be permanently banned from posting or altering information

  46. Richard Bennett

    My goodness, you really are obsessed. You say “if i could find all the relevant information from Wikipedia why would i go to the library and get dozens of text books?” Well, the obvious answer is that you can never find “all the relevant information” in any summary. Wikipedia may be a good first step in doing research, but it’s never the last step.

    But look, this article is about GMOs, not Wikipedia, so I have nothing more to say about your fixation. Have a nice day.

  47. actionmanrandell

    not obsessed i just enjoy having a discussion. but one thing i must say you say that you can never find all the relevant Information on a summery when it comes to Wikipedia this is actually absolutely false. a study was done in Germany that showed that all though it is true that some of the Wikipedia pages do not have the complete information about a subject. the study found that the information not contained in the Article was largely irrelevant and they concluded that Wikipedia mostly has all of the relevant data to a given subject. other studies have shown that Wikipedia is far more detailed than other encyclopedia’s. in fact the studies show that Wikipedia’s relevant data was among the highest of any sources . you say that it is a good starting point because it can’t have all the information needed but studies have debunked that. at any given time an article on Wikipedia on any form of science will have around 96% accuracy(the accuracy of textbooks and primary and secondary sources) with around 97% relevant data. in fact when i was in school one of my teachers main reason why he didn’t like students to use Wikipedia was not because of a so-called lack of accuracy(which has been debunked by peer reviewed studies) but because for subjects on sciences you can find nearly 100% of the relevant data on the site. but for him he believed students should spend a painstaking amount of hours doing the research instead of using a site that already has all the information needed.

    in the end Wikipedia is a great tool to have if you want information quickly, the information initially might be inaccurate but once a page has been moderated the accuracy of the page will skyrocket because Wikipedia is very strict on incorrect information and have a staff of devoted moderators who research the accuracy of a page. once information is found to be incorrect the moderator will edit the page to be accurate. accuracy is the moderators number 1 goal. so if a page has been up on wikipedia for years. then that page is actually very accurate

  48. Brian

    Notice the ridicule and denial, rather than actual, factual arguments from the pro chemical farming folks.

  49. B. Angele Harnesberry-Kunkowsk

    I have a hunch that the studies are contaminated…. If you are comparing corporate organic to corporate non organic….the food is the same…IF your comparing what I grow in my garden to non-organic..I think a great deal of difference can be found. The problem, however, is quantifying and causation. The N wouldnt be high enough in a study about my garden vs big food….statistically you could not compare the two in a study and come up with anything conclusive. That doesnt mean the benefits are not there.

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  52. Lauren

    Thank you for your wonderful article, I have read others with similar things in yours but on some topics you clearified more, especially upon how it effects the environment and animals

  53. Lauren

    I disagree that homeopaths, christian scientists, and chiropractors are not real scientists, sometimes maybe they have pseudoscience, but that is the same for any scientist out there

  54. Lauren

    When I say christian science I do not mean the cultish group, Iran science with a truly christian faith-based worldview

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  58. Rurik Wolfe

    "you should buy local…less CO2 is emitted…"

    This would intuitively seem to be correct, but isn't always thus.

    One example: a study found that people living in England, buying local mutton, were contributing to a higher carbon footprint than those buying New Zealand sourced mutton. How? The Kiwi meat has to be flown around the world! Well, that's one flight of efficiently packed goods. But in New Zealand the lambs roam outside in the south pacific climate. In England they spend much of their time in heated barns; so much so that the greenhouse gasses produced far outweigh those produced by shipping.

  59. karuna

    I am not sure who stole from who, but this article is mostly the same article, except a little more broken down than the NPR, which is where I initially read it. I read this with an open mind, word for word. But I still question these PR's and articles on this stuff. I understand organic is more expensive, but if you had the option of eating an apple that was sprayed with pesticides or not, which would you eat? In regards to apples, for example, if its nonorganic I usually peel it. But how much pesticide and chemicals is penatrating through the skin? There are a lot of questions. There are clearly rich people and companies that have an agenda to get people sick. More health problems = more money. I don't care how you slice and dice it, thats the truth. The global elites have been working on this foundation of more problems more money for ages now.

  60. karuna

    I just commented on my skepticism of conventional vs organic and I have to agree with you. These studies are new. Its like cell phones: they haven't been around long enough to know and see results of these things causing us cancer. What I find very interesting is how the wealthiest of the wealthiest, top 1% in the world you never see on cell phones……hardly ever. Most really wealthy people i have met stay off. You are what you are around and the wealthy (again, I am talking top 1% of the world) know something the average joe does not. Same goes for food. Most wealthy, wealthy people have gardens and eat their own food or pay to eat pure, organic non chemically treated food. Sure, the elite die too and they have gotten cancer, but far less than the average joe.

  61. karuna

    yup, Brian's right – sources are paid. Kind of a known fact and if you are someone that doesn't know that, begin to realize that. Wake up.

  62. Alison Parish

    I wonder if the natural pesticides used in organic farming are processed differently in our bodies organs ?
    Surely the liver etc can process these better than the synthetic pesticides ?

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