Monday, April 26, 2010

Stanford Study on Organic vs Conventionally Grown Food

Is there a difference between organically and conventionally grown food? A review of over 200 studies by Crystal Smith-Spangler and colleagues of Stanford University gave these general insights:
  • Organic produce had a significantly lower risk of contamination with pesticide residues although the level of pesticide contamination in conventional and organic food was low, below maximum recommended levels.
  • Organic produce did not appear to have superior safety or nutrition quality in any other outcome measured, including risk of bacterial, heavy metal, or mycotoxin contamination.
  • Children who consume organic fruits and vegetables and adults who consume organic cereal may significantly reduce their pesticide exposure compared with groups consuming conventional diets. Levels of pesticide exposures in both groups were within accepted safety standards.
  • Although rates of bacterial contamination did not differ significantly between organic and conventionally grown meats, eggs, and milk, the antibiotic resistance of bacteria cultured from conventional meats, eggs, and milk was significantly greater than for organic products.
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