About six months ago, a Stanford study created a lot of buzz about organic food.
Here are some articles about it:
- New York Times
Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce
- New York Times
Parsing of Data Led to Mixed Messages on Organic Food’s Value
- LA Times
Lots of chatter, anger over Stanford organic food study
- Huffington Post
Stanford Scientists Shockingly Reckless on Health Risk And Organics
- Scientific American
Organic Benefits Don’t Include Enhanced Nutrition
So basically, the Stanford study shows that there is no added nutritional benefits to the organic food. Okay, I can live with that, but while it says that, I think there are two more important issues we should also focus on.
Many people have been annoyed that the Stanford study did not paint the full picture of the benefits of organic food. I agree. Stanford scientists concluded that there is no health advantages with organic food consumption. Doctors recommended organic food as a way to avoid pesticides for kids. Why? Well, some pesticides accumulate in your body, and others, though not as accumulative, chronic exposure may not be good for you.
Carbon Footprint + Fertilizer Use + Pesticide Use + Hormones + Antibiotics + …
So if organic food is not bad for you, and it has similar nutrition as “food”, besides the price, what else is different? When you put fertilizer and pesticides on a plant, there is an invisible cost of energy and carbon dioxide (psst, remember there was another Stanford study about the correlation between the increase of carbon dioxide and the rise of mortality?). Then count all the clean up cost of pesticides and all the problem that fertilizers cause. Furthermore, organic food doesn’t have the hormones and antibiotics loading, that means less chance of getting MRSA…
So organic food is just food while “food” is food plus all sorts of baggage and problems that follow after people get what they want–cheaper food. And I am not sure if it is cheaper when everything added up together.
So why not organic food?