A recently released study by Stanford University that found organic food had no significantly higher nutritional value than conventionally produced food created ripples through-out the consumer and research world. Findings of the study also said that organic vegetables and fruits do have considerably less pesticide residues and that organic meat contained considerably lower levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria than conventional meats. But the media pounced on the easy headline of “little evidence of health benefits from organic foods”.
According to researchers who reviewed the study and the same materials reviewed in the study, the Stanford researchers failed to include several benefits of organic foods. According to Charles Benbrook, Washington State University research professor, these include a reduction in pesticide induced changes during fetal and childhood development, and a health balance of omega-6 and -3 fatty acids in organic dairy and meat products.
Jim Riddle, organic outreach coordinator at the University of Minnesota, also said the Stanford researchers overlooked the documented beneficial benefits of organic farming on water sources, and other multiple benefits of organic farming to farmers, farm workers, and rural residents.
Riddle concludes that the “most favorable outcome of the study is that is has opened up a conversation about the multiple benefits of organic production and the need for expanded research.”
For a copy of Benbrook's response, go to http://www.kansasruralcenter.org, What’s New Column.