There's a chance we've been deluded by the marketing of organic food; a new study by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have found that it might not actually be better for you.
Their study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at 200 other peer-reviewed studies that analyzed the difference in health benefits between organic and regular food and the people who partake and found that there wasn't much evidence backing the advantages of either camp. The studies they looked at ran the gamut—one weighed how pregnant women eating organic might lead to certain conditions like allergies in eczema in their children. Another checked organic meat's effectiveness in shielding you from a bacterial food-borne illness called Campylobacter. A third compared plots of tomatoes grown conventionally to those grown organically to see if the latter produced plants packed with more nutrients. In this case it did show a few benefits of organic food, but it was only specific to one vegetable. And it was not conclusive enough to say that overall there is an absolutely compelling reason to eat organic.
What we do know is that organic food tends to have fewer pesticides. But that little difference might not even matter. And different fruits and vegetables are by their very nature going to have varying levels of vitamins and nutrients. Eating organic isn't necessarily going to make you Popeye. You will certainly be spending more of your income on fancy Whole Foods fare, however. [NPR]
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