Sunday, March 15, 2009


Way back when I first started looking more closely at food and nutrition, investigating vegetarianism and discovering terms like 'organic,' I read and heard that organic food was more nutritious and safer to eat than agrobiz produce.

Some years later in Kyoto I met an agricultural engineer who was here from the US lecturing, who assured me profoundly that crops grown organically were nutritionally indistinguishable from non-organic. He was earnest and forthright, and he was an expert, being friendly. I didn't see how I could disbelieve him.

Still, I always bought organic when I could, since that's mere money in exchange for no exposure to pesticides/herbicides etc. I just can't accept that we know more than the big system and our bodies do, that we can outfox Mama Nature. To say nothing of the possibility of big expenditures for medical bills after years of eating Roundup et al., manifesting in illness can never be directly linked to that tomato you ate 20 years ago.

Then this morning, now that the subject of organic food prices is becoming a consideration on the verge of the greatest economic depression ever, I saw this:

"The $4.99 tomatoes are a good illustration.

That's how much one pound of organic tomatoes cost during a recent visit to a supermarket near Michelle Jones' Atlanta home. The founder of the consumer site said 'there's no way' she would pay such a price. Instead, she searched the produce section and eventually found a non-organic variety that cost $1.69 per pound....

From a nutritional standpoint, organic vegetables have no measurable differences than (sic) those grown with conventional methods, according to Bethany Thayer, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association."


Right after that I synchronicitously came across this:

"Organic Foods – a Far More Nutritious Choice

The simplest way back toward health is to focus on whole, organic foods, grown or raised as nature intended. Meaning, it’s grown using sustainable farming practices, and without the use of chemical additives, pesticides and fertilizers.

Food grown in healthier soil, with natural fertilizers and no chemicals, simply has to be more nutritious. It is common knowledge -- though knowledge that is greatly suppressed in the United States.

A 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, for example, found that organic foods are better for fighting cancer. And in 2005, scientists found that, compared to rats that ate conventional diets, organically fed rats experienced various health benefits. Rats that ate organic or minimally fertilized diets had:

  • Improved immune system status
  • Better sleeping habits
  • Less weight and were slimmer than rats fed other diets
  • Higher vitamin E content in their blood (for organically fed rats)

But perhaps one of the best studies out there on the benefits of organic versus conventionally-grown foods is the 2007 QualityLowInputFood Project -- a $25-million study into organic food -- the largest of its kind to date.

The researchers grew fruit and vegetables, and raised cattle, on adjacent organic and non-organic sites, and discovered that:

  • Organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants
  • Organic produce had higher levels of beneficial minerals like iron and zinc
  • Milk from organic herds contained up to 90 percent more antioxidants

The results were so impressive they stated that eating organic foods can even help to increase the nutrient intake of people who don’t eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day."


My garden tells me the truth. Use your compost, grow your own. Cheaper than agrobiz cheap, and gives you natural exercise. Tastes better, anyway. Like those just-dug-up organic potatoes in that quiche I had for lunch today.


Delwyn said...

Thank goodness for the organic stalls at the farmers' market...

vegetablej said...

Fantastic article. Thanks for the report on the measures of how much organic food improves on its chemical cousins.

Darn right, it tastes better. I figure this means you can stretch the more flavourful and nutritious organic produce by cutting down on the amounts you use in recipes, if need be.

Delwyn said...

Hi Bob,
I was just cleaning out my bookmarks and came across this article in relation to cuteness v realism I had saved some time ago. You may be interested.

Bob Brady said...

Thanks, Delwyn, most interesting and relevant to hypercutophilia. Linked to the article at the bottom of the post.