organic produce, organic vegetables, organic food, organic vs conventional food

Value of Organic Food Questioned Again

July 30, 2009 02:00 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
A review by London researchers found that organic food is no healthier than conventionally grown food, fueling more speculation about the true value of organic farming.

Is Organic Worth It?

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reviewed "50,000 studies conducted over 50 years," focusing on studies meeting scientific standards, and "found no significant differences" between organic and conventional crops, according to the Los Angeles Times.

When differences were found, they were attributed to the use of fertilizer, such as nitrogen or phosphorus, or the ripeness of crops at harvest time. The researchers, whose study was funded by the British Food Standards Agency, determined that differences seen in organic crops are "'unlikely' to 'provide any health benefit' to consumers," the Times reported.

In response to the study, organic groups maintain that consumers are interested in more than the health benefits of organic food. Barbara Haumann of the Organic Trade Association told the National Post that people who buy organic are also concerned with "supporting a system of agriculture that is healthier for the land and farmers producing that food because they're not exposed to pesticides."

Furthermore, asserts Laura Telford, the national director of Canadian Organic Growers, "We don't make health claims based on the nutrition of organic food. But we are saying they contain less of the things that might hurt, like chemicals," the National Post reported.

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