Organic Under the Microscope

Nature Cures Clinic is committed to helping you live a healthy lifestyle. We believe that part of maintaining your health includes eating as many fresh and organic foods as possible. So when the topic of organic food hits the headlines, we take notice! Right now two things are happening:

First, there’s one very disturbing study by the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency, stating that there is “no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.”

The researchers say the results are not meant to discourage people from eating organic – but instead meant to inform people that the health benefits are no different between organic and conventional.

As you might imagine, we believe this is preposterous.

First off, the study says nothing about the health impact of daily exposure to residual pesticides and herbicides.

It says nothing about the health impact of GMO foods, which are well established, even if they are not acknowledged by the FDA.

And it says nothing about the detrimental health impact of the environmental degradation that results from conventional farming.

We believe one of the ways in which our nutrition profession (and the whole industry of nutrition) has become removed from reality is that, over the years, they’ve reduced foods to nothing more than a set of numbers about various vitamins, minerals, etc. In essence, the same thing has been done to food as has been done to humans and health: health is
not conveyed through a set of lab values, but is a dynamic part of someone’s totality. Likewise, food is not simply a laundry list of nutrients, but a dynamic whole that acts *as food* only as a whole, not as a list of nutrients.

Showing that organic food doesn’t differ from conventional food in the numbers is *assumed* to mean that it is no healthier, but there’s no reason to think that this assumption is valid, and a number of reasons to think it isn’t.

Besides, if there’s no difference, why does the organic tomato/carrot/etc taste noticeably different/better?

So if you’re already on the organic train, stay on it! And if you’re not, hopefully we’ve given you a bit more evidence showing you why you should be.

On to the second bit of news about organic foods. The USDA has just announced that the National Organic Program is undergoing a review, in hopes of strengthening the integrity of the program and the USDA organic seal.

This is good news for the National Organic Coalition, who has long pushed for more consistency in the rules. “We applaud USDA’s willingness to submit its organic program to the rigors of these international norms and believe this will pave the way for continued growth and success of the U.S. organic industry,” Robynn Shrader, an NOC founder and CEO of the National Cooperative Grocers Association.

This is good news for us too. Under the Bush administration, big companies were allowed to hand-pick their certifiers. On top of that, the Bush administration worked toward allowing more synthetic substances in organic food. As it is, foods bearing the USDA Organic seal do not have to be 100% organic. Let’s hope audit happening right now works toward tougher standards for the integrity of the food we are eating.

If you are confused about which organic labels to trust, this website has a listing of what to look for.

Here’s to healthy eating!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 11:36 pm and is filed under Articles by our Providers, Homepage Articles (old site). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.