Recent headlines blared that a new study had found that organic foods weren’t any healthier for you than conventional food. Researchers at Stanford University recently released a study that questioned the nutritional benefits of buying organic foods. The study found very little nutritional difference between organic and conventional produce and meat. But let’s a closer look behind the headlines.
Today’s children, from infancy up to age 5, in the US have lost more than 16 million IQ points from exposure to organophosphate pesticides, according to another recent analysis. They’re exposed to these pesticides almost entirely through our food.
Organic foods are grown without the use of toxic synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, artificial hormones, or genetic engineering. They depend on cultivating healthy soil to grow healthy plants to produce healthy animals.
The study in question wasn’t new science, but a compilation and analysis of some of the existing studies comparing organic to conventional food. What did this paper find?
Findings: Conventional produce is more than five times more likely than organic to have any pesticide residues (38% of samples versus 7%).
The study didn’t go a step further and consider that when pesticides are found on conventional produce, the pesticides are often more toxic, present at higher levels, and come as mixtures of different chemicals.
The study also didn’t include the large body of literature about the toxic effects of some of these pesticides.
The authors concluded that this five-fold difference in pesticides couldn’t matter because the total amounts are so small. I strongly disagree. Think about this: Pharmaceutical drugs are powerful, refined chemicals designed to improve health. They can have desired health effects on our brain function, sexual function, and fertility at concentrations in our bodies of only parts per billion. Synthetic pesticides are also powerful, refined chemicals, but designed to destroy or inhibit life. Why couldn’t they have undesirable health effects on our brain function, sexual function, and fertility when present in our bodies at similar concentrations?