Jon Barron, a Bauman College adjunct faculty member, explores an Annals of Internal Medicine publication that suggests organic foods are not substantially different in nutrition than non-organic foods.
Organic Foods One More Time
October 1, 2012 Jon Barron, Adjunct Faculty, Bauman College
© 2012, Natural Health Newsletter, The Baseline of Health Foundation
Earlier this month, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a Stanford study that found that organic foods were neither substantially more nutritious nor substantially “cleaner” than non-organic products and are probably not worth the added cost.1 As might be expected, these conclusions brought the pundits on both sides of the argument wriggling out of the woodwork. The agricultural industry trumpeted, “See, that’s what we’ve been telling you all along.” The organic industry cried, “Foul! The “small” differences that the study cited are actually important, and besides, even if they aren’t, there is bias here.” While the direct funding for the study may not have been tainted (it was funded by an undergraduate research grant), some of the researchers involved in the study are affiliates and fellows of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, which has been funded to the tune of millions of dollars by companies such as Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural business conglomerate and several agricultural chemical and biotechnology corporations such as Monsanto. “Obviously,” the pundits argued, “The researchers are merely doing the bidding of their corporate puppet masters.” Also, if that weren’t reason enough to leave the issue to others, I’ve already countered several similar anti-organic studies in previous newsletters–in fact, I’ve borrowed extensively from those previous newsletters for this report. And besides, Hiyaguha Cohen, one of our foundation staff writers, wrote a blog about this exact study several weeks ago. What more is there to say on the question: is organic food better for you?