Sunday, August 20, 2006

Interesting Organic Study

Just thought I'd share this with everyone since it's frustrating to know if eating organic food is worth it or not. This is a small study reported by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Feb of 2005.

Rats fed organic food were significantly healthier than their peers given conventionally-grown produce, shows research reported by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, February 2005.

During the experiment, 36 rats were divided into three groups. All were given potatoes, carrots, peas, green kale, apples, rapeseed oil, and the same vitamin supplements. One group was fed organic food, another conventionally grown food with high levels of fertilizer and some pesticide, and the third group received minimally fertilized conventionally grown food.

Although pesticide residue was measured and found to be below detection levels in all groups, the scientists found that the rats fed organically-grown produce were measurably healthier, slept better, had stronger immune systems and were less obese.

Lead researcher, Dr Kirsten Brandt, of Newcastle University's School of Agriculture, was careful not to overstate the findings, but noted: "The difference was so big it is very unlikely to be random. We gave the food to the rats and then we measured what they were doing. We can say the reason why the rats have different health was clearly due to the fact that there was a different growing method..."

And of course, since that alone isn't enough info for anyone to base a decision on (just thought that part was interesting), here is the hyperlink to the FULL TEXT where I got this study info from.

Everything I Need to Know About Organic Food


Kurt said...

Is Organic Food Better than Conventional Food?

Organic and conventional food must meet the same quality and safety standards. Organic food differs from conventionally produced food simply in the way it is grown, handled and processed. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that it is more nutritious or safer than conventional food. A recently published report indicates that organic food is less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional food (13 percent of organic produce samples versus 71 percent of conventional produce samples contained a pesticide residue when long-banned persistent pesticides were excluded). Yet, according to the National Research Council, the traces of pesticides left on conventionally grown products are unlikely to cause an increased cancer risk. Also, if fruits and vegetables are properly washed, most of the chemicals can be removed.

Is There Any Downside to Organic Food?

In addition to the higher price, there are two main criticisms of organic food. First, some people argue that eating such products increases your exposure to biological contaminants, putting you at greater risk for foodborne illness. In particular, concerns have been raised about:

Manure - While manure is a well known carrier of human pathogens, when properly treated it is both safe and efficient.
Mycotoxins from molds - Fungicides are not permitted in the production and processing of organic foods. However, studies have not shown that consuming organic products leads to a greater risk of mycotoxin contamination.
E. coli bacteria - Particularly the virulent strain O157:H7, found in the intestinal tract of animals, is a concern.
The second criticism of organic agriculture is that organic farmers can’t produce enough to feed everybody. Some experts contend that organic food production, and in particular the failure to implement genetic engineering techniques, will condemn millions worldwide to hunger, malnutrition and starvation because:

Yield (total harvest per unit area) for organic farming is lower than for conventional farming.
Organic farming is not economically or socially viable in poorer countries
Many people believe that toxins, poisons and heavy metals come primarly from the food we eat. Well chew on this:
Sources of Metal and Chemical Toxicity

Mercury, besides leaking from teeth fillings, is also found in fish, cosmetics, pesticides, paint, plastics, fungicides, fabric softeners and contact lens solutions.
Aluminum is found in soft drink cans, cookware, cheeses, baking powder, deodorants, white flour, tap water, stomach antacids, toothpaste and laxatives.
Cadmium is contained in cigarette smoke, coffee, gasoline, steel cooking pans, metal pipes, tap water, rubber, fertilizers and “computer dust”.
Arsenic may be present in tap water, coffee, industrial pollution and automobile exhaust, pesticides, and salt.
Lead is found in dyes, gasoline, paint, plumbing, pottery, insecticides, tobacco smoke, textiles and scrap metal.
Copper is found in supplements, hard water, hot tubs and swimming pool chemicals, cookware, the birth control pill and other estrogen medications, copper IUD’s, and dental materials.
Nickel is found in dental crowns, and jewellery.
Carbon Monoxide of course, comes from auto exhaust, cigarette smoke and smog.
Formaldehyde is found in nearly all indoor environments - foam insulation, particle board, pressed wood products, backings on carpet and grocery bags.
DDT is still found in soil and other substances, including carpeting.
Benzene is found in cigarette smoke, gasoline, inks, paints, plastics, detergents, pharmaceuticals and dyes.
Chloroform is found in cleaning solvents, floor polishes, artificial silk and lacquers.
Toluene is found in petroleum products, copy paper, carpet glue, and perfumes.
Trichloroethylene(TCE) is used primarily in dry cleaning and metal degreasers.
Xylene is found in rubber, photo-processing products, paint and petroleum products.
one thing i was looking for in the USDA definition of organic or guidlines for organic was artificial or gas rippening, where a concentrated gas or chemical is exposed to unripe fruit to give the appearance of a ripe fruit. used for fruits or vegies that have to make a trip of any length, they are picked prior to becoming fully ripe and at their peek of flavor because a unripe fruid is more resiniant to damage that could be caused by a long trip. once delivered, they are exposed to a gas or chemical in order to make them more aestheticly pleasing. however they are still far from ripe. the most common use of chemical rippening is for tomatos, they are exposed to a elevated amount of nitrogen in order to make them a deep red color. this does not in any way, shape, or form have any real negitive affect on health, nitrogen is an inert gas and makes up 78% of the air we breath.

In a recent, i guess you would call it experiment, one of the local news stations showed a research with 2 groups. one group ate nothing but organic foods(some of the people were vegetarians as well), and the other ate a healthy diet of non organic foods. while the organic eaters did have lower levels of cemicals and preservitives then the non organics, both groups had measurable levels of other substances such as heavy metals and flame retardents. most of these substances came from things found in every house in america, carpeting, paints, and beds.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that you may be able to control what you eat but there is no way you can control everything that goes into your body through other means. we as a whole, are living longer lives not because of the lack of chemicals we put in our bodys. So i will keep eating my pestiside sprayed, bioengineered, fertlized vegies, and my hormon fed, antibiotic injected beef, and my unhappy chicken.

Thats my two cents, I’ll shut up now.


P.S. theres no such thing as soy milk, its soy juice but no one would buy soy juice. I’m just sayin.

mattkins99 said...


Uh ohhh….. Jennifer’s going to get you now!

Jennifer, the salt thing a while back was very interesting… but organic food?!?!? Do we look like hippies? I have a reputation to uphold!

Ferbit said...

I'll respond to this in another blog post so I can use more formatting... :)


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