New study dismisses benefits of organic food. Count me skeptical (of the study).

A strange new study is showing a striking similarity to the recent Stanford study, that revealed no benefits for eating organic.

While the term “organic” has been weakened by corporate interests in the US, there is no doubt in my mind that there are benefits to eating organic food. If I could afford it, I would eat a lot more organic food, though it’s , expensive and puts too much of a dent on my own budget.

These days I shop selectively for organic for a few reasons. One reason is because I prefer ingesting products that are not full of chemicals. I really don’t want to become the Lance Armstrong of chicken or beef, if I can help it. The other reason – which is completely missing from this study – is taste. As someone who loves to cook, there’s no question that organic products have better taste in many instances.

Vegetables via Shutterstock

Putting aside the study, and my interest in seeing more research (preferably that has no ties in any way to the chemical farming industry), it’s absurd to dismiss taste from the process. While vacationing with friends this summer, the kids (ages 3 and 7) ate a lot more fresh produce because of the taste. At home in Paris, the kids reluctantly eat fruit and vegetables, but they inhaled the local fresh fruit when we were in the countryside. Any study that ignores a simple issue like taste is missing an important aspect of the value of organic food.

For those with kids, would you feed your kids organic or traditional products if money were not an issue?  I suspect so.

“In the long term, there is currently no direct evidence that consuming an organic diet leads to improved health or lower risk of disease,” AAP officials said in a statement.

No large studies been conducted that address the differences, they said. That largely echoes the findings of a Stanford University review last monththat analyzed 237 studies and concluded that organic foods were no more nutritious than conventional — and ignited huge debates online and on talk shows.

When it comes to the pesky issue of pesticides, hormones and other contaminants, the pediatricians came to a similar conclusion.

No one knows yet whether those substances make foods from conventional sources less safe for growing kids, Silverstein said.

Part of the problem many people have with studies like this is that the funding often comes either directly or indirectly from the chemical industry itself. Much like the economists who are on the payroll of Wall Street, who did studies promoting the great benefits of deregulation, too many university studies on food are from questionable funding sources.

I’m not saying this study has those problems, but neither this study, nor the recent Stanford study that dismissed the health benefits of organics, sit quite right based on my personal experience.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • sane37

    It not about yield size, its about the amount of labor involved to get the same yields

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