Is "organic" food any healthier ?

Leifer

Senior Member.
As strange as it may be, I'm not going to post any links on the subject of "organic food"...as a google search leads to too many ideas/results.
I would appreciate any insight.

I have noticed that anyone feeling that "organic" is better, will be willing to pay the extra cost for such food, cosmetic, and packaged (etc) products.

But I wonder if the high cost of such "organic "products are solely added to cover the cost to maintain "organically farmed" materials.
......or if the "organic" labeling is but a rue to cater to those were "organic" purchases are a "must buy", based on the notion that organic must be better.
??
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Blind taste tests have fairly consistently shown that organic food is indistinguishable from regular food.

Penn and Teller:
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
But beyond taste....
Personally, I certainly have had (or cooked) fantastic tasting food, none of it being organically sourced.

Perhaps when I get done with my heavy work-week, I'll research some links for "residual pesticides" found left in market produce.

It's ironic....I drive past a farmland area, then immediately adjacent to that, is a water-reclamation area with signs,
"Do not dump. Water reclamation project. Help keep our water source clean."

http://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/pubs/docs/cu/GuidanceEvalResidualPesticides.pdf

http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=NEWSLINK_EN_C&RCN=34015&ACTION=D

http://www.cnn.com/FOOD/news/9902/18/dangerous.food/
 
P

pokelo

Guest
Organic food has many benefits that have nothing to do with taste. Biodiversity--Organic farms are more apt to preserve a wide range of crop types, where conventional farming is more focused on volume, efficiency, and narrowing the focus to specific seed types that meet the criteria set forth-including GMO seeds but that is another topic. This creates a less bio- diverse cross section of food stuffs thus putting supply at risk if disease,pests,drought, or weeds- enter into the picture--etc.. Economic Diversity- Organic farming contributes to a stronger local community by keeping profits in the local area, as well as land ownership, as apposed to share holders and large agriculture companies. Soil health. Conventional farming is much tougher on the soil-pesticides-frequent tilling, etc.. Pesticides in particular, significantly disrupt soil fertility because they kill the natural enzymes that eat dead, or fallen organic matter, and convert that into nutrients.. Thus you need to fertilize more- and becomes a perpetual cycle. In addition, super weeds, and disease are becoming more frequent, requiring stronger chemicals to eradicate. these chemicals intern enter into the water table, further poisoning YOU!. These are just two example of many that support the benefits of organic farming over conventional. Conventional farming was transformed in the "green revolution" so that no single person would go hungry.. It has failed.
From a scientific nutritional perspective there are proportionality the same no difference studies, to support in big differences. Here is an example of a stalemate
study-

http://psufoodscience.typepad.com/files/organicfood.pdf

Garden your own is my recommendation. 50% of my yearly produce comes from my garden. 15by20 plot and 11 4by8 garden boxes.

With regards to taste- I invite anyone to go to walmart and buy a roma tomato and eat one from my garden that has ripened on the vine and you'll taste the difference. If you cant that is a sign of other health issues..
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Not withstanding your other comments - that last one about having "other health issues" if you can't taste the difference - that is called poisoning the well

It is a really common thing that people do - myself included - and is hard to avoid ....but IMO it's worth trying to do so :)
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
With regards to taste- I invite anyone to go to walmart and buy a roma tomato and eat one from my garden that has ripened on the vine and you'll taste the difference. If you cant that is a sign of other health issues..
I agree with your taste demonstration, but I am still unclear if "untaste" is a sign of possible health implications.

It's hard to find, but the FDA seems to determine if a product can be labeled "vine ripened", only if it meets a certain acid content (or rather, lack of acid content).
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/AcidifiedandLow-AcidCannedFoods/UCM227099.pdf

Homegrown tomatoes gives the grower the ability to harvest when the acid is quite low, and the starches have turned to the appropriate sugars (ripening). (for best taste)
The ability to stay "market fresh" for any length of time, is often determined by the wants and needs of commercial packers and shippers when a given shipping time period is required.
Therefore a ripe tomato that is ready to be eaten, will taste best within a week (or less) of vine picking....hense the advantage of home gardening.
That being said, I'm still researching if the "better taste" of recently picked "plant ripened" fruit and veggies actually allows the plant to supplement the fruit with more nutrients, and therefore a "healthier" fruit......as opposed to ripening the fruit "off the vine", in so-called "Ripening Rooms" This is a BIG business.

More links....
(older) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1957&dat=19910403&id=kHUhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=E4kFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1135,490483
http://www.fshs.org/Proceedings/Password%20Protected/1998%20Vol.%20111/101-103%20%28WORKSHOP%29.pdf
http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-2024.pdf

There is little doubt, that Genetically Modified fruit and veggies are being created to withstand the long haul between farmland - to market display.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I guess the question that should be posed is really..."Is non-organic food ...unhealthy ?"
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
There is also the commercial factor of "visually fresh fruit and produce", and their shelf life.
Most commercial chain markets reject visually unattractive produce, opting for more pleasurable electives....even at the cost of ripeness.
How often have you bought a peach at a supermarket, only to find it hard and sterile tasting. ...me...lots of times.
And even when letting it "shelf ripen" at home...it becomes a great disappointment in taste, or it just begins to degrade and wither, with no discernible period of "ripeness".
Perhaps it is up to the consumers knowledge, in the ability to determine ripeness before buying. few have that skill (or want). No doubt, there are those who do not care one way or another as long as there is pretty peach sitting in their counter-top fruit basket.

One trip to the seasonal (key) farmer's market often allowing the careful customer to sample a sliver of fruit before buying it....may very well kill any future attempts at mass market fruit purchases. (that's me)


Irradiation comes into play here somewhat.
I assume that if I purchase a "shelf ripe" fruit or vegetable at a chain market, it has undergone some sort of "forced ripening" and/or an instance of irradiation.
I have more than one image of "organic fruit" at the supermarket that has become the aged, moldy earmark of "compost".
This may be due to the long shelf-life it must endear to sell, or it's sign that it was put there un-irradiated , or put there without passing through a ripening room.

So what's a guy with high standards to do ?
Perhaps it's to eat locally ripe and seasonal fruit, and pass on the others.
Whether it's organically grown or not, is still the question.
 

haarp

New Member
The term Organic doesn't instantly mean better for you, unless you can find out where the plant or animal has been farmed, you just don't know what's in it. For instance, meat in the UK can be classed Organic but still be fed GMO cereal which in turn makes the animal malnourished which obviously in turn means you're not going to be getting much benefit out of that steak. The packaging has to be labelled Grass Fed Organic then you know what the animal was fed. There's also another term ' left to graze ' I believe, expensive now of course but back in the good old days this would have all been local and the norm before supermarkets and fast food.

Organic plants can still be sprayed and classed as Organic. You need to take responsibility upon yourself to research where you're food is coming from and it has to be said the majority of people cannot be bothered. It's disgusting that GMO food doesn't have to be labelled, how much of it is in your supermarket already? We just don't know. Is it possible they're genetically modifying food and labelling it Organic to get a better price? Forcing people to buy the cheaper junk which is just as shit for you anyway.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
For instance, meat in the UK can be classed Organic but still be fed GMO cereal which in turn makes the animal malnourished which obviously in turn means you're not going to be getting much benefit out of that steak.
Can you back that claim up with some facts? Specifically that GMO cereal makes an animal malnourished?

Why would someone genetically modify a crop to make it LESS nourishing?
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
The OP question also still exists among the mists of healthy farmers, and eaters.
http://www.biobased.us/tech34.html
.....Does "organic" apply exclusively to the way food is produced chemically or biologically or is the defining moment tied into social benefits that should accrue from raising food "organically"? For example, should part of the definition of "organic" include the decentralization of food production rather than continuing along the present suicidal path of consolidation? Does it suffice that organic food makes the body healthier, or should it also make the soul healthier? Should organic food insist on social responsibility as its main purpose?
I mean, if food is supplanted with outside fertilizers, whether they be arto-chemically derived, or naturally derived.....is there a difference ?
Is a GMO plant any different than a purposefully cross-polinated plant...being that neither might happen without the hand of man ?
As the above quote implies,if it is "organically grown" thousands of miles away, does the environmental impact of shipping it.....reverse the socially intended principles of the original purpose ?
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/25/1_MeetingAbstracts/610.2?sid=26f5da82-1aac-44d3-b0dd-afdfc03018cd

Participants (n = 144, mean age = 34.9) were presented with a pair of cookies, chips, and yogurt cups, one labeled ‘organic,’ the other not labeled ‘organic,’ (although all foods were in fact organically produced) and were asked to taste and evaluate each pair of foods using sensory, nutrition, and value-related measures. As expected, foods labeled organic were estimated to be significantly lower in calories and evoked a higher willingness to pay than foods without the organic label, across all three items (ps<.001). Foods with the organic label were also reported to taste lower in fat (ps<.001) and contain more fiber (ps<.02).
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
That ties in with the "priming" stuff discussed on http://youarenotsosmart.com/

We are all slaves to our cognitive biases and subconscious decision making processes. I went to the store hungry, and now I have a large jar of jelly beans, which I would probably not have bought if I went to the store after lunch.

Any debunker would do well to look at these aspects of psychology.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture
....Just recently, an independent research project in the UK systematically reviewed the 162 articles on organic versus non-organic crops published in peer-reviewed journals between 1958 and 2008 (see link below). These contained a total of 3558 comparisons of content of nutrients and other substances in organically and conventionally produced foods. They found absolutely no evidence for any differences in content of over 15 different nutrients including vitamin C, β-carotene, and calcium.
.... ( http://www.ajcn.org/content/92/1/203 )
I don't usually post links to blogs, because most of them do not post links/references to the "studies" mentioned....or they just don't mention any studies at all, leading one to believe the blogger is just expressing a biased opinion.
The above one is highly referenced.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Even with published papers, it's quite possible to cherry pick papers to support your position. If the topic has any degree of popular support (like homeopathy), they can always find something that looks like scientific evidence to support it.

Meta studies, like the one you link to, are probably the best. But even then you get people complaining about the selection criteria for papers. In homeopathy the papers that support homeopathy often do not make the cut, as they after have methodological problem. But the homeopaths cry foul.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I agree Mick. But allowing the reader to see and more easily investigate the sources for themselves, adds a certain responsibility of authorship. But damn those "paid-subscriber" studies....they hinder any cherry-picking investigations.
The "comments" are always worth reading too.
 
R

RfromBC

Guest
Re: GMO cereal-fed animals being malnourished

I would expect this is not due to nutrient-poor GMO crops, but due to the fact that many grain (read: corn) fed animals, such as cows, are in fact herbivores, and are not biologically suited to eating corn. Therefore a diet of corn tends to lead to more or less severe health problems, including digestive problems, which lead to improper nutrient uptake.
 

haarp

New Member
Re: GMO cereal-fed animals being malnourished

I would expect this is not due to nutrient-poor GMO crops, but due to the fact that many grain (read: corn) fed animals, such as cows, are in fact herbivores, and are not biologically suited to eating corn. Therefore a diet of corn tends to lead to more or less severe health problems, including digestive problems, which lead to improper nutrient uptake.
Correct, they're missing valuable nutrients. Won't even get into the DNA altering GMO food itself, eek.
 

Related Articles

Top