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Sunday, August 10, 2008

One LESS Reason to Buy Organic

The claims that organically grown produce is higher in nutrients has taken a hit by a study that is nicely exlained and then summarized over at Keith Connects the Dots:

The crops were grown on the same or similar soil on adjacent fields at the same time and so experienced the same weather conditions. All were harvested and treated at the same time. In the case of the organically grown vegetables, all were grown on established organic soil.

After harvest, results showed that there were no differences in the levels of major and trace contents in the fruit and vegetables grown using the three different methods.

Produce from the organically and conventionally grown crops were then fed to animals over a two year period and intake and excretion of various minerals and trace elements were measured. Once again, the results showed there was no difference in retention of the elements regardless of how the crops were grown.

Dr B├╝gel says: ‘No systematic differences between cultivation systems representing organic and conventional production methods were found across the five crops so the study does not support the belief that organically grown foodstuffs generally contain more major and trace elements than conventionally grown foodstuffs.’

Dr Alan Baylis, honorary secretary of SCI’s Bioresources Group, adds: ‘Modern crop protection chemicals to control weeds, pests and diseases are extensively tested and stringently regulated, and once in the soil, mineral nutrients from natural or artificial fertilisers are chemically identical. Organic crops are often lower yielding and eating them is a lifestyle choice for those who can afford it.’

With food prices on the up-and-up-and-up, I've made a budgetary decision to buy organic what I eat with skin on, and buy conventional what has a rind/peel that I remove (oranges, bananas, onions, pineapples, etc), but I continue to buy eat-with-the-skin and dairy products and meat organic, cause I'm concerned with pesticides in the former and hormones/antibiotics in the latter.

Organic is pricey, and a budget is not infinitely stretchable cause, well, I ain't Oprah or Bill Gates.



Manuela said...

Saw your link on Katschi's blog and like all the info you've got :)

I have mixed feelings about buying strictly organic but have noticed that the prices aren't that much higher (depends on what it is).

I guess it all depends on what the individual can afford (I don't have a bank account like Bill or Oprah either but, if I did...)

MizFit said...

I love your decision and have been there for a but too.

I just CAINT rationalize things like organic bananas...if I had the CASH for sure.

but I dont.

Crabby McSlacker said...

I'm with you on the skin-on distinction.

But I gotta say I'm a little skeptical of this study, given that I've seen so many previous ones come to the opposite conclusion. And, um, who is "SCI’s Bioresources Group?" They sound suspiciously like apologists for the pesticide industry.

(However, I have done NO research on this particular study yet so my skepticism may not be warranted).

I just think given all the stupid crops our governments subsidize, we should get a little more help making organics affordable.

Chrissie said...

I don't buy Organic foods either. I don't even really know the difference between that and the regular stuff.

Anonymous said...

That's a good decision (organic with peel, regular for things where we remove the peel)! I shall do that too.