Posted in: Health Studies

Organic Food Study: Stanford Study Claims Organic Food Isn’t Better for You

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Is eating organic food better for you?

According to a recent study by researchers at Stanford University, not really.

A four-year study from California’s Stanford University has found that when it comes to nutrition, consuming higher priced organic foods — which can lower exposure to pesticides — may not be worth the extra cash.

“There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” stated Dr. Dena Bravata, a senior research affiliate at Stanford and long-time internist who began the analysis because so many of her patients asked if they should switch.

In the study, published in the September 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers examined 223 previous papers detailing nutrient and contaminant levels in various products (fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, milk, poultry and eggs) grown organically and conventionally.

Though the results of the study did show that some organic foods contained 30 percent lower levels of pesticides in some cases, the review yielded little evidence that conventional foods posed greater health risks than their organic counterparts.

The pesticide residue amounts found in the conventional foods, according to Dr. Bravata, were almost always below federally-set safety limits.

“When we began this project, we thought that there would likely be some findings that would support the superiority of organics over conventional food,” said Bravata. “I think we were definitely surprised.”

While the findings of Stanford’s study will almost certainly fuel the debate over whether organic products are a better choice for healthier living, they are unlikely to sway many fans of organic food.

As Maressa Brown of wisely notes:

“Ultimately, the glaring issue with this study is that the researchers weren’t looking at the reasons people buy certain groceries (like the “Dirty Dozen”) organic. I don’t stick to organic strawberries and organic poultry because I think either food will provide me with more of anything … be that vitamin C or protein. I’m buying organic, because I want fewer toxins.”

Readers: What are your thoughts on Stanford’s organic food study? Do you buy organic? If so, what are your reasons for doing so?

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13 Responses to “Organic Food Study: Stanford Study Claims Organic Food Isn’t Better for You”

  1. Tiffany J. LoCurto

    The ppl lining the pockets of these 'glaring' anti organic studies r probably the same ones pushing the poisen which is in practically everything we eat in some form or another.

  2. Joe Lee

    I don't buy organic unless it's the only produce from California or elsewhere in the United States. I support the Farmers here since we have stricter standards about pesticide control than Mexico.

  3. Addassa Mari

    The salient questions are who sponsored the study and do the researchers have a vested interest in the outcome of the study? What are their biases and perceptions about organic verses non-organic foods? Why did they choose to conduct this study? Was it purely for academic purposes, that is the attainment of knowledge or to inform the related communities?

  4. Sonja Johnson

    I buy all organic because it's going to be the only way to stick it to Monsanto. They have control of the farmers because they force the farmers to buy their patented GMO seeds…the farmers who don't buy into GMO are persecuted because their crops are tainted by the GMO pollen and Monsanto goes after the non-GMO farmer for a patent violation. Monsanto's GMO crops are in almost every non-organic product you buy that contains a corn or corn product, soy or soy product, canola, and there's quite the list. They're working on wheat if they don't have it already. I don't want Monsanto controlling the food supply, and what they are doing can potentially taint our entire food supply if they find out at a later date that GMO foods ARE harmful. We can't prevent cross pollination of products. Anyhoo…off my soapbox. If you buy organic you're not helping to support Monsanto.

  5. Joe Lee

    Thanks for the heads up about Monsanto. Googled it and researched the company and OMG. Buying organic from now on….

  6. Sonja Johnson

    That's all I ask is that people look it up and be informed. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to afford ALL organic, but if you see something on the shelf that's organic and on sale, and it's the same price as non organic, choose organic.

  7. Sonja Johnson

    And vote yes on prop 37 if you want to put it into law that GMO foods must be labeled as such. That would help people who can't afford organic to be able to choose non GMO foods.

  8. Leigh Hicks

    Yes, I try to buy organic food but with Monsanto taking over the world seed because and putting their GMO in the entire food chain, it's hard to know what is really organic anymore. Even if you grow your own garden-if the seeds are Monsanto seeds-organic or not-you're f**ked!

  9. Leigh Hicks

    Also be careful of the corn. Monsanto puts their Pesticides in the seeds/corn so when you eat the corn, you're eating the pesticide which is sending people to ER on a daily basis. A farmer in Texas lost some of his cattle because they were fed CORN feed (Monsanto corn) and it tore the cows' insides apart and they died. Think what it will do to your stomach.

  10. Anonymous

    I have read the published study. Here are the conclusions published in the paper, in my words.

    Finding #1. Organic produce has higher levels of phosphorus.

    Finding #2. Organic produce has higher levels of phenols.

    Finding #3. Organic chicken has higher levels of vaccenic acid.

    Finding #4. Organic milk has higher beneficial fatty acids (Vaccenic acid and CLA).

    Finding #5. Higher TVA in breast milk of mothers eating organic food.

    Finding #6. Organic produce has 81% lower risk of pesticide contamination.

    Finding #7. Organic poultry and pork have 67% lower risk of being contaminated with bacteria that are resistant to 3 or more antibiotics.

    Does the listing of the scientific conclusions chane anyone's perspective on all the discussion generated by this study?

    For more information on why organic food is better, please consult our learning center on our web site:

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