Consumer Reports weighed in on recent reporting about the Stanford University study “conclud[ing] that the published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods,” though consuming them “may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”
Consumer Reports takes a much more in-depth look into the report’s “serious limitations”, the studies the report examined and numerous additional conclusions not originally reported. Among those conclusions:
- “The analysis included plenty of studies that did find a nutritional benefit to eating organic food, such as higher levels of phosphorous and phenols (a type of antioxidant compound) in organic produce and more omega-3 fatty acids in organic milk and chicken.
- “Only three of the 17 human studies in the analysis looked at health outcomes, and two of those focused on allergies in children—an odd metric for comparing organic to conventional diets, since there’s no reason that organic diets should correlate with fewer allergies.
- “It could take many years for the cumulative effects of pesticide buildup in the body from eating conventionally grown food to show up. Cancer risks, for example, are calculated over long periods of exposure to carcinogens. The human studies in the Stanford analysis lasted at most two years.
- “The study downplays the importance of the prohibition of antibiotics in organic agriculture, which can help counter the serious public-health problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”
This is much more in-depth set of observations about the organic food conversation… well worth reading.