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Old 09-04-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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Default Organic food is not any healthier

... says this article on BBC

BBC News - Organic food 'not any healthier'
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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I thought the whole deal with buying organic was so you could avoid pesticides anyway. Who knew they were supposed to have magic properties? That being said, some veggies I prefer from the organic producers as they are higher quality when they hit the shelf.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #3
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Tossing a few more quotes:

Quote:
They looked at more than 200 studies of the content and associated health gains of organic and non-organic foods.

Overall, there was no discernable difference between the nutritional content, although the organic food was 30% less likely to contain pesticides.
Quote:
The research, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at 17 studies comparing people who ate organic with those who did not and 223 studies that compared the levels of nutrients, bacteria, fungus or pesticides in various foods - including fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, milk and eggs.

None of the human studies ran for longer than two years, making conclusions about long-term outcomes impossible. And all of the available evidence was relatively weak and highly variable - which the authors say is unsurprising because of all the different variables, like weather and soil type, involved.

Fruit and vegetables contained similar amounts of vitamins, and milk the same amount of protein and fat - although a few studies suggested organic milk contained more omega-3.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
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Wasnt there another BBC article about high protein diets being harmful?
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
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Wasnt there another BBC article about high protein diets being harmful?
Yes.

It seemed to be part of a larger propaganda machine prepping the masses for an impending protein tax.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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1. pesticides

2. the omega-3/6 ratio is all jacked up in non-free range eggs. same is true for grain fed vs. grass fed beef IIRC (NB I still eat grain fed b/c I am cheap)

3. it tastes better (and best if grown yourself). And before you cry about placebo effect, remember - the placebo effect is still an effect!
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #7
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Does the "organic foods" class include genetically modified produce too?
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_bigmuscles View Post
1. pesticides

2. the omega-3/6 ratio is all jacked up in non-free range eggs. same is true for grain fed vs. grass fed beef IIRC (NB I still eat grain fed b/c I am cheap)

3. it tastes better (and best if grown yourself). And before you cry about placebo effect, remember - the placebo effect is still an effect!
1. Just because pesticides are present doesn't necessarily mean anything. Are the dosages large, small or infitesimal? Do they pose a significant health risk compared to exposure to chemicals from washing-up liquid, plastic packaging, particulates from living in a town, cosmic rays from flying?

2. Again, the ratios may well be different, but to what extent does this affect health? Cruciferous veggies have nutrients that preserve collagen, and might prevent wrinkling, but you'd have to eat kilos of them per day to have any real benefit.

3. But whether it's a placebo effect or not matters. If you're on a tight budget, and you're spending 60% more than you need to on organic stuff, then it would be better to realise that the difference is just in your head.

I've always believed that there are many advantages to organic food: environmental benefits, ethical benefits, preserving traditional methods and so on. But health benefits?

Many things to do with nutrition look good on paper, but when they're tested in the context of a real human being, they don't do jack.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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1. Just because pesticides are present doesn't necessarily mean anything. Are the dosages large, small or infitesimal? Do they pose a significant health risk compared to exposure to chemicals from washing-up liquid, plastic packaging, particulates from living in a town, cosmic rays from flying?

Less pesticides is better than more pesticides, don't you agree? I'm not going to sit around and wait for 20 years of double-blind studies before taking simple, easy steps to reduce my exposure to them. And the marginal cost of organic food is not that great (assuming you aren't living paycheck to paycheck). Seems like a no-brainer to me.

2. Again, the ratios may well be different, but to what extent does this affect health? Cruciferous veggies have nutrients that preserve collagen, and might prevent wrinkling, but you'd have to eat kilos of them per day to have any real benefit.

It matters. And, I'm working on it (the eating kilos of food every day thing)

3. But whether it's a placebo effect or not matters. If you're on a tight budget, and you're spending 60% more than you need to on organic stuff, then it would be better to realise that the difference is just in your head.

Of course it's in your head - I was talking about taste...
But yeah, going broke for better tasting food is probably not a good idea.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_bigmuscles View Post

Less pesticides is better than more pesticides, don't you agree? I'm not going to sit around and wait for 20 years of double-blind studies before taking simple, easy steps to reduce my exposure to them. And the marginal cost of organic food is not that great (assuming you aren't living paycheck to paycheck). Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Well, I'm not sure less pesticides is better than more pesticides. Why start from the assumption that a chemical introduced into a foodstuff is probably harmful? I don't know very much about the effects of pesticides on the body, except DDT, so I don't see a reason to avoid them. Same for e numbers.

If the cost difference was marginal, I would eat organic every time, because in my view they're more environmentally friendly. But in the UK, organic veggies are generally considerably dearer. For example, garlic, mushrooms, beetroot are three things I just wouldn't buy as organic because they are 60-100% more expensive.

Quote:
2. Again, the ratios may well be different, but to what extent does this affect health? Cruciferous veggies have nutrients that preserve collagen, and might prevent wrinkling, but you'd have to eat kilos of them per day to have any real benefit.

It matters. And, I'm working on it (the eating kilos of food every day thing)
The wikipedia link supports the idea that consumption of omega 3s, or the ratio of 3:6, is a variable that affects health. Fine. I didn't dispute that at all. What I'm saying is that the differences in organic vs non-organic farmed products may make an insignificant contribution to that.

A quick google gave me one study (no idea how valid it is) showing about 16mg/g fat of both Omega 3s and 6s in grass fed cows and 8mg 3s and 42 mg/g fat in predominantly grain-fed. But this doesn't tell me if it's better to drink milk from grass-fed cows. Without knowing how much of each substance really has an effect on health, the figures don't tell me anything.
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