Friday, 31 July 2009

Organic vs Non-Organic

Anyone that tells you that Organic produce is no different to commercial produce is either lieing, been misinformed or works for the government.

This week I read a report in The London Times suggesting that "organic food is no healthier than other produce" according to the Government's food watchdog.

This "recent research" was carried out for the Foods Standard Aency by experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who studied data collected over 50 years.

They concluded that organic food contained no more nutritional value than factory-farmed meat or fruit and vegetables grown using chemical fertilisers.

You can read the report in full here.

The year-long review which cost £120,000 was led by public health nutritionist Dr Alan Dangour who said and I quote: "Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced crops and livestock on the basis of nutritional supremecy."

I hate absolutely EVERYTHING about this research.

This research (funded by the government incidentally) fails to take into account one major impact.

The impact of pesticides on people and the overall effect on the environment.

Organic farming bans the use of any chemical fertilizers on it's crops and has stricter animal welfare rules than conventional farming so how can these so-called experts say that organic produce has no extra health benefits?

What a pointless study! £120,000 worth of our money to tell us THAT? How can such a study take place where a key arguement is that pesticide residues in non-organic food are detrimental to health?

I have no problem in accepting the reports conclusion that organic food may have no real nutritional supremacy over conventionally produced crops and livestock,

however, I don't eat organically because the food has more nutritional supremacy over conventionally produced food and I haven't met anyone else that does so either?

There are other reasons as to why people want to eat organic.


It's not rocket science. I eat organic because it tastes better.I don't know about you but I can definitely tell the difference. The organic meat I eat is more flavorsome, the vegetables are crunchier and you can often SEE the difference between organic and non-organic produce.

2)Animal Welfare.

This is the main reason for me. I eat organically because I KNOW the livestock are treated better and have had a good life. I'm a bit of an animal lover at heart and although I'm a big meat eater I still like to know that the livestock I'm buying has at least seen the light of day and had some kind of life before it get's to me.

I came across this disturbing footage on you tube and was completely shocked (and saddened) at the conditions of some factory-farms as well as the cruelty inflicted to the animals. Take a look at these vids but I warn you, please don't open if you're an animal lover or are easily shocked.

I was disgusted when I first watched these.

Yup, shocking isn't it? The government don't tell you about that in their 50 year review do they! I wonder why?

Still want to eat factory-farmed meat?

3) Pesticide Free

I like to eat my fruit and veg knowing that they haven't been sprayed with a ton of chemicals. The bottom line is that we really don't know the long-term side effects of pesticide residues. Pesticide residues are the very small amount of pesticides that can often remain in (or on) a crop after harvesting or storeage and will make their way into the food chain.

Pesticides are designed for one thing, and one thing only.

To kill animals.

Now, I realize that mice, roaches, fleas and spider mites are small animals but still - they are animals right?

If a small amount of a pesticide will kill a small animal such as an insect or mite, why wouldn't a larger amount or a prolonged exposure to the same pesticide kill a larger animal - like for example a cat or dog or a human?

I'll leave you to make your own mind up on this one.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you MUST eat organically ALL the time. It's up to you at the end of the day. We all lead busy lives and sometimes it just isn't practical to shop like this, however trying to eat organic whenever we can has more benefits than the government would like us to believe.

Dr Alan Dangour concluded by saying "Consumers will decide for themselves."

We sure will Al, and I for one will continue to eat organically whenever I can and will be telling my clients this aswell.

Thanks for the advice though. = >

Sam Winkworth

Please let me know your thoughts on this in the comments section below. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about this latest science report.

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