Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce

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    Sep 04, 2012 7:58 PM GMT
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/science/earth/study-questions-advantages-of-organic-meat-and-produce.html?_r=1

    Does an organic strawberry contain more vitamin C than a conventional one?

    Maybe — or maybe not.

    Stanford University scientists have weighed in on the “maybe not” side of the debate after an extensive examination of four decades of research comparing organic and conventional foods.

    They concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts, which tend to be far less expensive. Nor were they any less likely to be contaminated by dangerous bacteria like E. coli.

    The researchers also found no obvious health advantages to organic meats.

    Conventional fruits and vegetables did have more pesticide residue, but the levels were almost always under the allowed safety limits, the scientists said. The Environmental Protection Agency sets the limits at levels that it says do not harm humans.

    “When we began this project, we thought that there would likely be some findings that would support the superiority of organics over conventional food,” said Dr. Dena Bravata, a senior affiliate with Stanford’s Center for Health Policy and the senior author of the paper, which appears in Tuesday’s issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. “I think we were definitely surprised.”

    The conclusions will almost certainly fuel the debate over whether organic foods are a smart choice for healthier living or a marketing tool that gulls people into overpaying. The production of organic food is governed by a raft of regulations that generally prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides, hormones and additives.
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    Sep 04, 2012 8:11 PM GMT
    I betcha money they were secretly funded by Monsanto and other food chemical companies.
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    Sep 04, 2012 8:15 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidI betcha money they were secretly funded by Monsanto and other food chemical companies.


    I'll take that bet.

    http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/september/organic.html

    Other Stanford co-authors are Margaret Brandeau, PhD, the Coleman F. Fung Professor in the School of Engineering; medical students Grace Hunter, J. Clay Bavinger and Maren Pearson; research assistant Paul Eschbach; Vandana Sundaram, MPH, assistant director for research at CHP/PCOR; Hau Liu, MD, MBA, clinical assistant professor of medicine at Stanford and senior director at Castlight Health; Patricia Schirmer, MD, infectious disease physician with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System; medical librarian Christopher Stave, MLS; and Ingram Olkin, PhD, professor emeritus of statistics and of education. The authors received no external funding for this study.
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    Sep 04, 2012 8:31 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    paulflexes saidI betcha money they were secretly funded by Monsanto and other food chemical companies.


    I'll take that bet.
    Note the word in bold.

    Also, there were no tests performed on humans to indicate their health level between those who eat organic and those who don't. All they did was tested for nutrients and chemicals in the food.

    In short, they wasted four years on an inconclusive study.
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    Sep 04, 2012 8:40 PM GMT
    I thought organic was to avoid pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Nutrition may be enhanced, especially if the produce is obtained more locally. Therefore, it doesnt have to be harvested so early and doesnt degrade over as long a transport.
  • camfer

    Posts: 891

    Sep 05, 2012 12:03 AM GMT
    To quote from Riddler's link,

    "researchers found that organic produce had a 30 percent lower risk of pesticide contamination than conventional fruits and vegetables"

    "organic chicken and pork appeared to reduce exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria"

    and then went on to say, oh that level of pesticide contamination in conventional produce is within government standards, and oh we don't know if there's any health effect from not being exposed to antibiotic resistant bacteria

    I will put my direct market organic tomatoes up against industrially grown conventional store bought tomatoes any day. You will taste the difference and feel it in your body immediately. I will bet the nutrient levels of mine are higher. Industrial organic produce? I'm not thrilled about it.

    eat what you will.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Sep 05, 2012 1:17 AM GMT
    It will probably never happen that I am able to walk into a grocery or a farmer's market and buy what I would like without regard to price. For now, I am stuck with what I can afford and that is hardly ever "Organic."

    Sooooooooo...such news articles entertain me and I do think a bit because of them, but they leave me feeling the real issue is not being addressed.

    I'd just like to stand in front of a mass display of apples and be able to smell apples. It would be great.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Sep 05, 2012 1:24 AM GMT
    the article only fuses on the benefits of nutrition. it still states the effects of pesticides and herbicides linger far more prominently when organic isn't used, which is a large reason why people buy organic. keep in mind, it says nothing of quality aside from nutrition.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Sep 05, 2012 1:39 AM GMT
    This is a fairly long standing fact, one that was heavily researched in the '70s. It's how genetically modified foods got approved. They are substantially equivalent,band offer no significant change in nutrition.

    However, they clearly have health hazards besides nutrition. I refer you to the flavr savr tomato, approved way back for the above reasons, and it stands to reason almost all produce would share these results. What most don't know is a fairly sizable proportion of the test rats died of severe health complications due to the diet. It continues to be a hazard in all GMO foods.

    It should also be noted that, according to the FDA, it is no longer required for companies to test the safety of a GMO product before release. They've set a precedent of automatic approval.
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    Sep 08, 2012 3:14 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    riddler78 said
    paulflexes saidI betcha money they were secretly funded by Monsanto and other food chemical companies.


    I'll take that bet.
    Note the word in bold.

    Also, there were no tests performed on humans to indicate their health level between those who eat organic and those who don't. All they did was tested for nutrients and chemicals in the food.

    In short, they wasted four years on an inconclusive study.


    Sure. There is no difference in the nutritional composition of organic and non-organic food, but one would still be significantly healthier than the other. Makes sense.
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    Sep 08, 2012 5:28 AM GMT
    Wild fruits have more Vitamin C than domesticated fruits.

    iXHRT.jpg

    Here's a list of fruits and vegetables by Vitamin C content.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C#Plant_sources
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    Sep 08, 2012 5:38 AM GMT
    Organic food is a way for people to spend more money on food. There is no nutritional difference, and as has been said, pesticides are still used. Buy local if you can no matter organic or conventional.

    Also, how would a food that is genetically modified to avoid pests and adopt a certain look be broken down any different than any other food? It is all broken down into protein, carbs, fat, and alcohol (rarely). Everything else is vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which are still under scrutiny as doing anything conclusive. All studies that say they do something are epidemiological and associate that one food with incidence of cancer and outcome of cancer. GMO is a great way to feed the world, you cannot deny that. Last I checked, we have a lot of hungry people left in the world who could use that food and wouldn't care if it was GMO or natural or organic. Organic has always been a marketing ploy targeted toward people with money to spend.
  • FitGwynedd

    Posts: 1468

    Sep 08, 2012 5:39 AM GMT
    As someone who worked on a cattle/dairy/sheep farm in Mayo, I can say that the organic food movement is absolute bollocks. In fact, its the same food from the same farms farmed under the same techniques, its the retailers that sell it as organic to bulk up the price a bit. Regardless, you organic people are eating the same stuff everyone else does, you just paid more for it.
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    Sep 08, 2012 5:43 AM GMT
    Jaxe saidWild fruits have more Vitamin C than domesticated fruits.

    iXHRT.jpg

    Here's a list of fruits and vegetables by Vitamin C content.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C#Plant_sources


    You state wild fruits have more vitamin C than conventional fruits. So? The amount of vitamin C you need a day is contained in a diet that has conventional food in it (if you eat 1 orange you're already covered!). You don't even have to eat oranges, you could eat green peppers and broccoli for vitamin C. French fries have vitamin C. Vitamin C isn't something we really worry about these days unless someone isn't eating french fries OR ANY piece of vegetable matter. Having excessive vitamin C doesn't do anything except get peed out. If you take vitamin C pills (ie megadoses), you are more likely to change the color of your urine and get diarrhea than to accrue magical health benefits because it's a magical "vitamin" that doesn't do half the shit people think it does. It's just involved as an antioxidant (which haven't been fully researched as needing excessive boosts in a diet yet over a healthy diet that includes the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies). It also is involved in the production of healthy skin, but it won't make your skin look like a Neutrogena ad if you already have enough in your diet.
  • FitGwynedd

    Posts: 1468

    Sep 08, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    bluey2223 saidOrganic food is a way for people to spend more money on food. There is no nutritional difference, and as has been said, pesticides are still used. Buy local if you can no matter organic or conventional.

    Also, how would a food that is genetically modified to avoid pests and adopt a certain look be broken down any different than any other food? It is all broken down into protein, carbs, fat, and alcohol (rarely). Everything else is vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which are still under scrutiny as doing anything conclusive. All studies that say they do something are epidemiological and associate that one food with incidence of cancer and outcome of cancer. GMO is a great way to feed the world, you cannot deny that. Last I checked, we have a lot of hungry people left in the world who could use that food and wouldn't care if it was GMO or natural or organic. Organic has always been a marketing ploy targeted toward people with money to spend.


    Yep thats exactly true. Organic farming methods are highly inefficient and are only used in the boardrooms of the marketing departments at the retailers. This isn't the neolithic age.
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    Sep 08, 2012 6:12 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidI betcha money they were secretly funded by Monsanto and other food chemical companies.


    Not so secretly . Monsanto owns U. C. Davis.
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    Sep 08, 2012 6:16 AM GMT
    Alpha13 said
    paulflexes saidI betcha money they were secretly funded by Monsanto and other food chemical companies.


    Not so secretly . Monsanto owns U. C. Davis.


    I had a friend who loved to read articles de-bunking hippy ass, organic health food crap. There are tons of studies that show exercise is pointless as well. My friend died at age 52.
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Sep 08, 2012 6:22 AM GMT
    5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short


    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/09/five-ways-stanford-study-underestimates-organic-food
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Sep 08, 2012 6:29 AM GMT
    Busted: Co-Author of Flawed Stanford Organic Study Has Deep Ties to Big Tobacco’s Anti-Science Propaganda

    http://www.infowars.com/busted-co-author-of-flawed-stanford-organic-study-has-deep-ties-to-big-tobaccos-anti-science-propaganda/
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    Sep 08, 2012 6:48 AM GMT
    metta8 saidBusted: Co-Author of Flawed Stanford Organic Study Has Deep Ties to Big Tobacco’s Anti-Science Propaganda

    http://www.infowars.com/busted-co-author-of-flawed-stanford-organic-study-has-deep-ties-to-big-tobaccos-anti-science-propaganda/


    Seriously? Do you even read this crap? It's based on a document from 1976 of funding of scientists - that doesn't even suggest wrongdoing.

    Personally I'm indifferent - though tend not to get organic. But arguments like this are a serious disservice to your cause.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Sep 08, 2012 7:03 AM GMT
    FitGwynedd said
    bluey2223 saidOrganic food is a way for people to spend more money on food. There is no nutritional difference, and as has been said, pesticides are still used. Buy local if you can no matter organic or conventional.

    Also, how would a food that is genetically modified to avoid pests and adopt a certain look be broken down any different than any other food? It is all broken down into protein, carbs, fat, and alcohol (rarely). Everything else is vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which are still under scrutiny as doing anything conclusive. All studies that say they do something are epidemiological and associate that one food with incidence of cancer and outcome of cancer. GMO is a great way to feed the world, you cannot deny that. Last I checked, we have a lot of hungry people left in the world who could use that food and wouldn't care if it was GMO or natural or organic. Organic has always been a marketing ploy targeted toward people with money to spend.


    Yep thats exactly true. Organic farming methods are highly inefficient and are only used in the boardrooms of the marketing departments at the retailers. This isn't the neolithic age.


    And it exactly that uninformed outlook that allows Monsanto and related companies to monopolize the food market, and supply us with likely unsafe, but largely untested product. Especially after the fiasco of the Flavr Savr tomato, I will never eat GMO food if I can help it.
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    Sep 08, 2012 7:13 AM GMT
    Medjai said
    FitGwynedd said
    bluey2223 saidOrganic food is a way for people to spend more money on food. There is no nutritional difference, and as has been said, pesticides are still used. Buy local if you can no matter organic or conventional.

    Also, how would a food that is genetically modified to avoid pests and adopt a certain look be broken down any different than any other food? It is all broken down into protein, carbs, fat, and alcohol (rarely). Everything else is vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which are still under scrutiny as doing anything conclusive. All studies that say they do something are epidemiological and associate that one food with incidence of cancer and outcome of cancer. GMO is a great way to feed the world, you cannot deny that. Last I checked, we have a lot of hungry people left in the world who could use that food and wouldn't care if it was GMO or natural or organic. Organic has always been a marketing ploy targeted toward people with money to spend.


    Yep thats exactly true. Organic farming methods are highly inefficient and are only used in the boardrooms of the marketing departments at the retailers. This isn't the neolithic age.


    And it exactly that uninformed outlook that allows Monsanto and related companies to monopolize the food market, and supply us with likely unsafe, but largely untested product. Especially after the fiasco of the Flavr Savr tomato, I will never eat GMO food if I can help it.


    I'm pretty sure at this point in my university education in nutrition, dietetics, and nutritional sciences, I would be more informed, rather.

    Perhaps you are reading propaganda by fringe conspiracy theorists. Good luck finding completely non GMO food without being a self-sufficient hermit. It is not causing any harm. How can you say it is "likely unsafe" without any evidence that it is unsafe? It is perfectly safe. Who says it is untested? You? These propaganda artists? How do you not know the propaganda you are reading isn't created by people with an ulterior motive?

    If there are any effects of GMO, it is the domination of the human species to allow itself to feed its populations and grow without rules of how often we can procreate at this point.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Sep 08, 2012 7:29 AM GMT
    bluey2223 said
    Medjai said
    FitGwynedd said
    bluey2223 saidOrganic food is a way for people to spend more money on food. There is no nutritional difference, and as has been said, pesticides are still used. Buy local if you can no matter organic or conventional.

    Also, how would a food that is genetically modified to avoid pests and adopt a certain look be broken down any different than any other food? It is all broken down into protein, carbs, fat, and alcohol (rarely). Everything else is vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which are still under scrutiny as doing anything conclusive. All studies that say they do something are epidemiological and associate that one food with incidence of cancer and outcome of cancer. GMO is a great way to feed the world, you cannot deny that. Last I checked, we have a lot of hungry people left in the world who could use that food and wouldn't care if it was GMO or natural or organic. Organic has always been a marketing ploy targeted toward people with money to spend.


    Yep thats exactly true. Organic farming methods are highly inefficient and are only used in the boardrooms of the marketing departments at the retailers. This isn't the neolithic age.


    And it exactly that uninformed outlook that allows Monsanto and related companies to monopolize the food market, and supply us with likely unsafe, but largely untested product. Especially after the fiasco of the Flavr Savr tomato, I will never eat GMO food if I can help it.


    I'm pretty sure at this point in my university education in nutrition, dietetics, and nutritional sciences, I would be more informed, rather.

    Perhaps you are reading propaganda by fringe conspiracy theorists. Good luck finding completely non GMO food without being a self-sufficient hermit. It is not causing any harm. How can you say it is "likely unsafe" without any evidence that it is unsafe? It is perfectly safe. Who says it is untested? You? These propaganda artists? How do you not know the propaganda you are reading isn't created by people with an ulterior motive?

    If there are any effects of GMO, it is the domination of the human species to allow itself to feed its populations and grow without rules of how often we can procreate at this point.


    I am aware of the saturation on GMO in modern food, and it terrifies me.

    How are they unsafe? I I'd say that. Look up the lab results or the Flavr Savr tomato. 23% acquired severe lesions in the brain. That's pretty unsafe.

    How do I know their untested? Since the Flavr Savr was approved in 1992, the FDA ruled that any and all GMO products will also be nutritionally equivalent and do not require studies or testing before release to the public. No GMO food on the shelves today has been tested for human safety, and with the track record of the one that was tested, how are you not even worried in the slightest?

    Organic can feed the world. I don't know why people are worried about production. We already produce 110-150% of what the old needs. We ont need to make more old. We just need to get it to the right places.
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    Sep 08, 2012 4:49 PM GMT
    Severe lesions in the brain? Link your study. I think you're completely out of line thinking that GMO tomatoes are going to give you a brain lesion. That's ridiculous.

    I have no worries because I have a science background and there is nothing wrong with eating something that has genetic modification. It is food. I know how the digestive system works. The DNA doesn't stay intact after digestion.

    The claims you are making are radical. Have you been abducted by aliens too?
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Sep 08, 2012 5:30 PM GMT
    There are additional issues with GMO's.

    For example:

    How Genetically Modified Corn Is Creating Super Worms

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/09/05/796781/genetically-modified-corn-gives-rise-to-superworms-as-agribusiness-lobbies-against-gmo-labeling/