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Are Organic Foods Healthier?

Are Organic Foods Healthier?

"The first time I tried organic wheat bread,
I thought I was chewing on roofing material."
- Robin Williams

Unless you live in a cave, chances are that you heard
or saw, or read the results of a Stanford University
study, published in the September 4, 2012 issue of
Annals of Internal Medicine, which concluded that
organic foods are neither safer nor healthier than
traditional pesticide-saturated foods.

After reviewing 240 studies published in peer-reviewed
scientific journals, researchers concluded:

" significant differences by food type for allergic
outcomes (eczema, wheeze, atopic sensitization) or symptomatic
Campylobacter infection.

"Two studies reported significantly lower urinary pesticide
levels among children consuming organic versus conventional
diets, but studies of biomarker and nutrient levels in serum,
urine, breast milk, and semen in adults did not identify
clinically meaningful differences.

"All estimates of differences in nutrient and contaminant
levels in foods were highly heterogeneous except for the
estimate for phosphorus; phosphorus levels were significantly
higher than in conventional produce, although this difference
is not clinically significant. The risk for contamination with
detectable pesticide residues was lower among organic than
conventional produce (risk difference, 30% [CI, −37% to −23%]),
but differences in risk for exceeding maximum allowed limits
were small.

PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL...I REFER YOU TO: "significantly higher
than in conventional produce, although this difference is not
clinically significant." NOW, THAT'S FUNNY! THEY SHOULD

"Escherichia coli contamination risk did not differ between
organic and conventional produce. Bacterial contamination of
retail chicken and pork was common but unrelated to farming
method. However, the risk for isolating bacteria resistant to
3 or more antibiotics was higher in conventional than in organic
chicken and pork (risk difference, 33% [CI, 21% to 45%])."

After reviewing the studies which were financed by various
agricultural industry producers, the authors make two curious
points which are more representative of comedy and not science:

"Studies were heterogeneous and limited in number,
and publication bias may be present."

"Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to
pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria."

Which brings me to yesterday's (09/14/2012) dairy
industry poll. Dairy Herd asked its readers:

"Do you think organic foods are healthier than
conventionally produced foods? Y&mr=1&oid=1&pid=169654926&cid=8500984

Tiny URL:

I was surprised to read that 88 percent of dairy producers
answered "no" while only 12 percent responded "yes".

Had I asked that same question of notmilk readers, I
expect that the percentages would have been reversed.

As for me, I will continue to purchase organic produce
grown in the United States. That way, my body will be
free of pesticides, unlike the bodies of those farmers
and their families who believe that there are no differences
between food with poison added and natural unprocessed food.

Robert Cohen

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