How Healthy Is Organic Food?
Organic foods, often touted for their health benefits, aren’t any healthier than conventionally grown foods, researchers say.
But there are other factors that may influence consumers in their food choices.
A study conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that there are no significant differences between the two groups of food. Organic milk had no more protein than regular milk, for example.
The conclusions were based on an analysis of 237 previous studies. Some involved the study of effects of organic and conventional diets, while others compared the rates of bacteria and fungus levels in both groups of food.
But the researchers did find substantial differences in the levels of pesticide. Thirty-eight percent of conventionally grown food showed detectable pesticide residue, while the figure was only seven percent for organic foods. (Organic foods can be contaminated with pesticide from neighboring fields.)
Other considerations for eating organic food are the effect of pesticides on the environment and , in the case of meat, the circumstances in which animals are raised. Organic chicken and beef come from animals that roam free and are on a diet of organic feed. The cost may also be a factor, with organic food costing about twice as much as conventional food.