Researchers have discovered there is, in fact, no benefit to buying organic foods, as it has been shown that they are no safer and healthier than produce that has been grown by using pesticides. Looks like the extra money involved in opting for organic products may not be worth it after all. It has been revealed that it contains no more nutrients than traditionally produced food and doesn’t come with any additional health benefits.
There has been a rise in the level of organic food available on the market over recent years with demand for organic increasing alongside it. Many people opt for organic as they believe it to be healthier and safer for them, and as a result, are willing to pay up to two thirds more for the produce. The research conducted at Stanford University Medical Centre in California has found no link for organic produce providing additional health benefits. Further to this, it was revealed that organic was not a guarantee that the food would be pesticide-free, which is a major selling point for the people.
Dr. Dena Bravata, the senior author of the study, said that the researcher pointed out that there is very little difference between organic food and conventionally grown foods, especially if you’re purchasing decision is coming down to the health benefits of either. The study is the most significant review of existing research on gauging the difference between organic and conventional foods; however, UK campaigners believe the results were not equipped to detect real differences between the meals.
The review focused on studies of people with organic and conventional diets, and looked into nutrient levels, bacterial, fungal, or pesticide contamination. Researchers found no consistent differences between the various foods regarding vitamin levels. There were no differences to either protein or fat content between the two food groups either. It was also not possible to single out any specific organic fruits or vegetables that were consistently healthier than others.
The authors of the study pointed out that it is a consensus that organic food is a healthier and more nutritious option compared to foods grown using pesticides, and they were also surprised by the findings of the study. What the research did discover was that organic food was 30% less likely to be contaminated by pesticides in comparison to conventional produce. They were not, however, pesticide-free; both food groups, however, were within the food safety limits for pesticide levels.
A spokesperson for the Soil Association said that the US study has limited application in Europe and that the research has helped to reinforce that opting for organic produce can help to limit the amount of pesticides people consume as part of their diet. They also believe that the approach to the research, while useful in evaluating medicine trials, it is not the right way for going about comparing the differences in crops.