Over the past decade, many individuals (particularly parents) have turned to organic foods for their perceived health benefits. A new study from Standford University suggests that the benefits of organic food are just that: perceived.
“People choose to buy organic foods for many different reasons. One of them is perceived health benefits,” study leader Crystal Smith-Spangler reveals. ”Our patients, our families ask about, ‘Well, are there health reasons to choose organic food in terms of nutritional content or human health outcomes?”‘
The answer to that question, according to this study, seems to be “no.” According to the results, organic foods did not prove to be more nutritious than their non-organic counterparts. They did not provide higher levels of vitamins or nutrients. They did, however, have lower exposure to pesticides and antibiotics.
Dr. Dena Bravata, a senior researcher at Santford University, said she was shocked at outcome of the study. “I was absolutely surprised,” she said, noting, “There are many reasons why someone might choose organic foods over conventional foods but when it comes to individual health, there isn’t much difference.”
Bravata’s team, who reviewed more than 200 studies comparing health of people who ate organic vs. non-organic, did find a notable difference with antibiotic-resistant germs which are a health concern because they are harder to treat if they cause food poisoning. Other than that, there’s not much difference between regular food and organic food, which can often cost up to twice as much.
Another element of organic vs. non-organic that has health-conscious individuals talking is just how much of a product needs to be organic for it to be sold as that specific type of product. The researchers from Standford University said that standards for what constitutes “organic” food are too vague.
Do you think organic food is worth the cost?