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Organic’ Does Not Mean Healthier

Discussion in 'Health & Nutrition' started by kds1980, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Apr 4, 2005
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    According to a British review of studies carried out over the past 50-years, food from the organic aisles of grocery stores, does not always spell healthier than that on the rest of the supermarket shelves. In other words, organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food.
    Apparently, neither is better in terms of health benefits, if the studies findings are to be believed, as both organic and conventionally produced foods have about the same nutrient content as the other.
    Study author Alan Dangour, a registered public health nutritionist with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says, no important differences were found in the nutrient content of organically and conventionally produced foods.

    Even so, researchers note organic foods continue to grow in popularity, with the market share for organic foods in the United Kingdom, increasing 22% from 2005 to 2007.

    According to the Organic Trade Association, likewise is the case with United States, where the market for organic foods has grown at the rate of 20% each year since 1990, with consumer sales reaching $13.8-billion in 2005, which figure represents 2.5% of total food sales in the country.

    The review of 162-studies dealing with the nutrient content of foods found only 55, the researchers considered to be 'satisfactory quality', with no notable differences between conventional and organic crops with regard to vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc and copper content. However, they did find organic crops to have higher levels of phosphorus than conventionally produced crops, which seemed to have higher levels of nitrogen. According to the review, no differences in nutrient content were indicated in the livestock studies.

    However, a similar review of the literature conducted by the Oregon-based Organic Centre, a staunch promoter of organic food, yielded similar results to that of the British study, finding higher levels of healthy antioxidants and polyphenols in organic foods, though.

    The study will be published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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  3. Lee

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    May 17, 2005
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    Yep no supprise here, but I never thought that the point of 'Organic' food was health, I always understood it is about not putting poisions into the earth.
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  4. Vikram singh

    Vikram singh
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    SPNer Thinker

    Feb 25, 2005
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    There are Three additional information rebutting the conclusions of the FSA-sponsored article that claims that organic is not more nutritious.

    Below are three of these:

    The first is short comments by a person in the UK who is very knowledgeable about the politics of food in the UK, as well as about organic agriculture. She explains that the FSA-sponsored article was written to counteract research that came out earlier this year showing that organic foods are genuinely more nutritious.

    The second is a good article from the Daily Mail, a major UK newspaper.

    The third is a critique of the FSA-sponsored article by the top scientist in the Organic Center, a leading organic agriculture research institution in the US.
    There's lots of support for organic food and farming published in UK national newspapers today in response to yesterday's findings by the pro-GM, anti-organic Food Standards Agency (FSA).

    The FSA review dismisses health benefits of eating organic food but admits to a lack of research on which to base findings, while completely ignoring other benefits (eg to the environment and animal welfare) and the risks and damage that arise from intensive agriculture.

    The Ecologist reports that researchers could only identify 11 studies relating to the health content of organic food and admitted the current evidence base was, "extremely limited both in terms of the number of studies and the quality of studies found".
    The Ecologist online (30 July)
    Organic food: FSA study leaves bad taste in the mouth - The Ecologist

    See also
    Editor's blog: FSA organic study: read it closely The Ecologist online (30 July)

    The FSA has been on a pro-GM anti-organic crusade since it was first launched under the chairmanship of John Krebs. From the beginning there was a total failure to re-examine the safety of GM foods, despite the high level of consumer concern. Indeed, Krebs declared all approved GM foods safe on his first day in the job before he had even had time to look at the evidence!

    Instead, he quickly ordered a safety enquiry into organic food, which has a high level of consumer confidence. Krebs then made a high profile attack on organic food that lead Dr Patrick Wall, then chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, to describe Krebs' views on organic food as "extreme".

    Krebs, of course, has been far from alone at the FSA in terms of close links to the GM lobby. The first director of the Scottish arm of the FSA was Dr George Paterson -- the former director general of Health Canada's Food Directorate. Paterson has been linked to major food safety scandals in Canada involving both fast track approval for a Monsanto GM crop and the overriding of internal government scientists' health warnings on a GM product.

    Krebs and the FSA's aggressive pro-GM anti-organic stance triggered to GMWatch's very first PANTS ON FIRE AWARD.
    ngin : pants on fire award for Sir John Krebs and the Food Standards Agency


    A cancerous conspiracy to poison your faith in organic food Joanna Blythman The Daily Mail, 31 July 2009 Debate | Mail Online

    Despite its obvious benefits for our health and for the environment, organic food continues to be denigrated by the political and corporate establishment in Britain.

    The food industry, in alliance with pharmaceutical and big biotechnology companies, has waged a long, often cynical campaign to convince the public that mass-produced, chemically-assisted and intensively-farmed products are just as good as organic foods, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

    The latest assault in this propaganda exercise comes from the Food Standards Agency, the government's so-called independent watchdog, which has just published a report claiming that there is no nutritional benefit to be gained from eating organic produce.

    Those forces bent on promoting GM crops and industrialised production, would have been delighted by the widespread media coverage of the Agency's report, portraying enthusiasm for organic foods as little more than a fad among neurotic consumers that would pass once the public is given the correct information.

    But what is truly misguided is not the increasing popularity of organic goods, but the Food Standards Agency's determination to halt this trend and instead promote genetic modification.

    The new report from the FSA highlights this. For all the publicity it has attracted, the document does not contain any new material.

    In fact, it is just an analysis of existing research carried out by other bodies. Moreover, the organisation that conducted this second-hand study, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is not renowned as a leading centre in this field.

    Indeed, there is far more significant work currently being done on organic foods by several other bodies, some of it funded by the European Union, though the FSA has chosen to ignore it.

    It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the FSA has decided to give such loud backing to this report because it can bend the findings to suit its political, pro-GM, anti-organic agenda.
    GM crops

    What is truly misguided is not the increasing popularity of organic goods, but the Food Standards Agency's determination to instead promote genetic modification

    Ever since its creation in 2000, the Food Standards Agency has been biased against organic farming. The first chairman, Sir John Krebs, was supportive of the biotechnology lobby and only too keen to promote GM as the future of farming.

    In fact, one early review of the FSA's work, by the Labour peer Baroness Brenda Dean, warned there was a risk of the Agency losing its 'objectivity'
    and 'rigour' in its support for GM crops and its opposition to organic production.

    The departure of Sir John Krebs has not brought any change in policy, since the Agency is now largely run by plodding bureaucrats all too keen to follow the correct official corporate line.

    Yet even in the context of the latest report from the FSA, the spin does not match the reality. For, contrary to all the hype this week, the Agency's own published research shows that organic foods are clearly far better for the consumer even just in nutritional terms.

    Happy hen vs jail bird: Organic poultry, eggs and [bacon not only taste much better, but they have also not been pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics]

    According to the FSA's findings, organic vegetables contain 53.6 per cent more betacarotene - which helps combat cancer and heart disease - than non-organic ones.

    Similarly, organic food has 11.3 per cent more zinc, 38.4 per cent more flavonoids and 12.7 per cent more proteins.

    In addition, an in-depth study by Newcastle University, far deeper than the one conducted by the FSA, has shown that organic produce contains 40 per cent more antioxidants than non-organic foods, research the FSA appears to have overlooked.

    But the concentration solely on nutrition is to play into the hands of the anti-organic, pro-industrial lobby.

    As most of the British public understands, but the FSA fails to acknowledge, the benefits of organic food go far beyond this narrow point.

    The fact is that organic production is much better for personal health, food quality, the environment and the welfare of livestock.

    Organic farming works in tune with the rhythms of the earth, gently harnessing the changing seasons, the natural cultivation of crops or the rearing of animals for our benefit.

    In contrast, the vast biotech, processed food industry is at permanent war with nature, continually trying to manipulate, overwhelm and conquer.
    Organic farming is all about harmony, non-organic about chemicalised ascendancy.

    The most obvious way this difference is manifested is in the use of pesticides on crops, banned from organic farming but eagerly promoted by big industry.

    Fifty years ago, agro-chemicals hardly existed in British farming, but today they dominate this sector. But their rise has not been without justifiable concerns about the side-effects.

    There is now a wealth of evidence to show that pesticides not only poison the soil and harm wildlife, but also promote cancer and a host of other diseases because of their toxicity.

    This is, after all, only common sense. Anything that can kill insects is bound to have an impact when consumed by humans.

    It has been shown that ordinary pears are sprayed with pesticides no fewer than 17 to 18 times during one seasonal growing cycle. A third of all the food we eat, and no less than half of all our fruit and vegetables, contains such chemicals.

    The Government airily dismisses any worries about the risks, but this kind of complacency is based on old, outdated science.

    As the agro-chemical industry tightens its grip, the worse the dangers become. Organic farming, however, offers the opportunity to eat without these dangers. All organic food is free from chemical residues and thus the health threats are much lower.

    Even the most die-hard GM enthusiast would have to admit that organic meat, fruit and vegetables taste much better than the mass-produced fare turned out by major suppliers.

    Non-organic produce is not just grown with chemicals, it is also filled with additives, colourings, flavourings, salt and water simply so it has an acceptable appearance to the consumer once it reaches the shelves.

    Again, this battery of synthetic additives which appears in many processed foods, ready meals and take-aways has a detrimental effect on our health, something that is avoided with organic produce.

    Intensive farming also has a brutal impact on the well-being of animals, which in turn undermines both the quality of meat and our own health.

    Organic poultry, eggs and bacon not only taste much better, but they have also not been pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics, like industrialised produce.

    Putting pigs and hens in battery cages inside vast hangars is a sure recipe for the spread of disease, akin to locking up a large group of children in an overheated, overcrowded nursery.

    In this environment, the only way to combat germs is to dish out the antibiotics, but there are now scientific concerns that the overuse of such chemicals is weakening resistance in animals and also reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics among humans.

    Giving animals a decent life through organic, traditional husbandry is better for them - and for us. All the cheerleading for the agro-chemical giants cannot hide the fact that industrialised farming represents a cul-de-sac for mankind.

    We cannot go on as we are, pumping chemicals into our livestock and into the earth. The future has to be organic.

    If it has any genuine interest in nutrition, the Food Standards Agency would be supporting a shift away from intensification, not pushing for more of it.

    The FSA was meant to be an organisation for improving our food. Now it is just getting in the way.

    Read more:
    Debate | Mail Online
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  5. OP

    kds1980 India
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    Apr 4, 2005
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    To be honest I don't know which scientific report should be beleived and which not.Sometimes I think that traditional theories of which food is good and which is bad
    are more reliable because they were based on centuries of observation.
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  6. AusDesi

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    Jul 18, 2009
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    At the end of the day. No matter how bad pesticides are. There is no Bengal famine or the Irish potato blight today due to pesticides.

    Some people will say that Pesticides are killing us. That maybe true but you have to remember what used to happen before pesticides were invented. The population of the world will half today if the pesticides were stopped and people switched to organic farming.

    In addition, if you don't have pesticides you need manure. Manure comes from cattle who produce methane. Methane is worse for the environment than CO2.

    Some people have this view that everything was so good back in the day and we've stuffed it all up. Obviously its not that way. If the pesticides are so bad how come we are healthier today than 70 years ago.
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