Study shows what you eat is more important than whether the food meets the criteria to be called ‘organic’
By Roger Baker / The Rag Blog / September 29, 2008
Are “organic” foods really safer or more nutritious?
They could be in some cases, but in general, there is little scientific evidence that this is so.
The evidence seems to indicate that WHICH types of foods that one eats are a far more important factor than, say, whether you eat foods that meet the USDA criteria for organic, and as officially determined and promoted and certified by the organic food lobby. Here is a MAYO Clinic study affirming this conclusion.
The term “organic” seems to be largely a marketing ploy by corporate chains like Whole Foods to convince people that by eating their higher-priced foods, which do not involve the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, one can therefore avoid medical problems which are now scientifically known to be genetic in origin, etc. It is little accident that the isles of organic groceries are filled with countless herbal nostrums and remedies and cures with no proven scientific validity whatsoever, whereas drugs of well-known efficacy such as aspirin are non-existent.
A multi-billion dollar marketing empire has thus arisen based on the unsubstantiated theory that “pure” organic foods are by themselves an important addition to health and longevity. And furthermore that general health and longevity of consumers are determined more by the conditions under which the food plants and animals are grown are more important than which types of foods are chosen for the diet. Another example of corporate marketing and their lobbies dominating science.
The fact is that average human life spans were MUCH shorter BEFORE the advent of chemical fertilizers, genetic engineering, and pesticides in the food chain, and before the advent of scientific medicine.
Thus, whether or not you eat healthy KINDS of foods is probably far more important than the parts per billion of fungicides that may be present in your foods, until it is scientifically proven to the contrary, especially since it is now known that many naturally occurring toxins are also harmful.
That is not to say that the chemical additives are perfectly harmless, but rather that they may be an unimportant factor in relation to other risks when they are evaluated scientifically rather than emotionally.
The nutrient and chemical toxin quantities are usually unmeasured even in those few cases where their benefit and risk is accurately known, thus giving the “organic” label a false importance. The organic food lobby is totally focused on the organic certification to the exclusion of the scientific assessment of risk as a food health factor, because to adopt this official certification is such an important source of corporate profit.
In any case, peak oil will localize food production and minimize fertilizer and pesticide additions, so these will become factors of less concern as food costs rise and food availability tself becomes primary.
Higher priced “health” foods involve billions of dollars of dubious and unproven benefit and should be subjected to the impartial judgment of science rather than pseudo-science and corporate marketing promotions.
It is far better for health and the wallet to focus on the increased consumption of grains and vegetables, reduced meat consumption, and increased exercise than it is to focus on the “organic” label – if one is to survive in optimum health and to avoid the incipient poverty induced by corporate marketing scams.