viernes, septiembre 21, 2012

Reasons to Buy Organic

Reasons to Buy Organic: Let Us Count the Ways

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No more peaches, no more blackberries! As my colleague, Jeff O’Hara, and I pore over the list of fruits and vegetables coming in our shared community supported agriculture (CSA) delivery, we are facing the sad fact of seasonal eating. Seasons end. Yes, we will still get tomatoes and butternut squash—but oh what a summer this has been for berries and peaches.

My colleague Jeff O’Hara with our CSA share.
The Tuesday afternoon arrival of bags of organic fruits and vegetables has turned out to be a highlight of the summer for Jeff and me. Although not certified, our farmer employs the same practices that make organic produce a healthy choice and delivers them fresh from field right to our downtown DC office.
Of course, like most enthusiastic consumers of organic food, Jeff and I have reasons besides taste and freshness for choosing it. For a start, we both value the best-known features of organic agriculture: it prohibits antibiotics and synthetic pesticides.
News reports on a study from Stanford
So what do I make of a recent, widely reported story on National Public Radio saying that a new study by Stanford University scientists means that there is “hardly any evidence at all that organic food is healthier” and implies that Jeff and I might have been duped?
As a scientist, I am pleased to see a major meta-analysis (a study of studies) on the nutritional and safety aspects of organic food, but I found the interpretation by the authors of the study and news media disconcerting—and surprising.
The Stanford analysis confirmed that in comparison with conventional food, organic food has significantly lower pesticide levels, lower multidrug-resistant bacteria levels, and higher beneficial fat levels. In my book, that’s a pretty good case that organic food is healthier.

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