A New Note in the Organic Food Debate

Market Fruit
Market Fruit

One of the big to-dos in the world of food last week was British study has recently concluded that organic food has no additional nutritional benefit over standard produce.

Whether or not organic veggies have more or better vitamins and minerals has been hotly debated for years. Especially in these hard economic times, is the benefit worth spending the extra cash for organic food? Even if it is, is all food better organic or just some? This study doesn’t settle the debate, but rather adds another piece to the complex discussion. And as Seattle-based blog the Accidental Hedonist pointed out last week, the study is far from definitive. People buy organic for a variety of reasons including fear of effects from pesticides and the chance to meet friendly faces when you purchase organic produce from your friendly neighborhood farmer.

Do you buy some or all your food organic or do you think the movement is overblown? Why or why not?

4 thoughts on “A New Note in the Organic Food Debate

  1. I buy organic because I don’t want to consume any more toxic chemicals than I have to. Did you know that Parkinson’s was not described in medical literature until after the start of the industrial revolution? Some Parkinsons has been linked too chemical exposure. I have parkinson’s on both sides of my family, so I’m trying to minimize the risk there.

    Also they don’t study the synergistic effects of combining multiple chemicals – herbicides and pesticides. So I don’t know, but I want to do what I can to minimize the potential effects on myself and my son.


  2. people are missing the point here. one of the main reasons to go organic is to decrease the amount of pesticides we use that hurt the food and the environment. and yes, by purchasing organic from local farmers, you help to maintain and build your local economy.

  3. The major problem with the “organic” movement is the very fluid definition of “organic”. Sue makes the point that it is about less pesticides. Ok, but is that NO pesticides at all in any form? Is that just NO chemical pesticides? What about natural alternative pest deterrents? Even things used as natural pest deterrents which can be harmless in small normally consumed quantities can still be very toxic in concentrated large doses. What about those?

    While I support buying from local farmers to help the local economy, in no way to I make any assumptions that because they are local farmers that their produce is entirely free of pesticides or contamination intentional or otherwise.

    I do buy some items organically. Simply because they taste a heck of a lot better in my cooking. And I am always sure to thoroughly wash and scrub if possible everything I buy, organic or not.

  4. Sue and Colleen make very valid points. Several years ago the “organic” definitions and requirements were changed by the FDA with a large amount of input from big corporations and the net result (IMHO) was to dilute the requirements for organic by the big corporations, and at the same time, make it harder for small farmers to use the organic labeling. At least, if you are buying food from the farmers you can talk to them and find out what methods they use, and make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase food from that person, unlike most organic products in the grocery stores – where one has no clue if it truely is organic or not.

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