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Do You Believe that Organic Foods are Better for You?

Recent studies say, not necessarily. What do you think?

According to recent studies reported in www.medpagetoday.com, all the hype about organic foods might be just that – hype. The publication reports that a review of several studies seems to indicate that there is no solid evidence that organic food are any healthier than the regular brands. Although some long-term trials may be lacking, in the short-term studies doctors at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. concluded that there is no “robust evidence” to support the perception that conventional foods are any less healthy.

What do you believe? Do you specifically seek out organic alternatives believing them to be the healthier alternative?

M.K. OSBORNE September 08, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Local farmers are the masters of what they now refer to as Organic ,local farmers know the crops and the land and work it accordingly . Local farmers use other plants for pest control and pollination issues as well as seeds passed down through generations . The local farmer is also not about production at all cost but more about the quality . Now my definition of local would be here in Gwinnett and neighboring counties that are farmers or gardeners selling excess produce to the public .
Larry Reid September 08, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I thinks that's good stuff. It's good to buy local to support our own and get fresh goods. As food prices rise, we all should learn to grow some things. It's always rewarding and certainly fresh. You don't need to have acreage. Just a little patch of dirt or some pails and sunlight. I look forward to a garden every year. I just dug up my potatoes this afternoon. Still getting peppers and a few tomatoes. Sorry. Am I off topic?
Racer X September 08, 2012 at 10:40 PM
I don't know about that Millard. I grew up on Cokes and Moon Pies. I never felt better than when I got away from junk. I think most people, including myself, see growing cancer rates and figure it wouldn't be a bad idea to get away from chemicals if we have an opportunity. I don't think that organic foods are necessarily more nutritious, just not as bad for you. Same goes for foods without High-fructose corn syrup and foods without nuclear waste in them. I really like that saying "Tempest in a teapot" though. It says a lot using just four words.
jesse89 September 08, 2012 at 10:43 PM
One of the best technical analyses on the weaknesses in this Stanford study has been done by Dr. Charles Benbrook of Washington State University. He actually has read over 200 of the 260+ articles reviewed in the Stanford meta-analysis. http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pdfs/P2566.pdf
jesse89 September 08, 2012 at 10:46 PM
One other shortcoming in the Stanford analysis of pesticide risks is worth noting. There is now strong evidence that pre-­‐natal exposures to organophosphate (OP) insecticides increase the risk of a range of neuro-­‐developmental deficits (Crews et al., 2012; Engel, et al., 2011; Rauh, et al., 2011; Bouchard et al., 2011), including reduced IQ (Bellinger, 2012). Untimely OP exposures during pregnancy also increase a child’s risk of autism, ADHD, and asthma (Vandenberg et al., 2012). The studies cited above report relatively consistent relationships between levels of OP metabolites in the blood and urine of women during pregnancy, and in umbilical cord blood upon birth, and the prevalence of birth defects and developmental impact.
M.K. OSBORNE September 08, 2012 at 10:56 PM
I agree with Larry on growing what you can yourself . My maters and peppers are still making and my compost pile is churning out some nice fishing worms .
Tammy Osier September 08, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Sharon, I buy from these local folks. I asked the difference. The difference is that what's grown in California is not picked ripe and has a week or two to travel and ripen unnaturally on a truck. Local is picked at it's peak and vitamins etc...stay intact. The local bluberries were so sweet that you'd think you had dipped them in sugar. That's the way most fruit is supposed to taste. Put them next to grocery and there's no comparison.
Tammy Osier September 08, 2012 at 11:03 PM
You do have to be careful though when buying. There is a market to make money and some things that say organic are no better than anything else- just more expensive. It's good to do a study on good eating habits, at accordingly, and your weight and health will fall into place.
Dimitri September 08, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Seeing as the FDA is in bed with Monsanto and the other big players in the genetically modified food game the only way to avoid being exposed to food that has been tampered with on the genetic level is to buy organic. Not to mention a lot of GMO food just tastes as good as organically grown produce. Those reasons and the considerably lower exposure to potentially hazardous pesticides is pretty much why "organic foods are better for you".
Dimitri September 08, 2012 at 11:41 PM
That was supposed to read: a lot of GMO food just DOESN'T taste as good as organically grown produce.
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) September 09, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Here's one blogger's reasons for buying organic, local produce: http://athens.patch.com/blog_posts/our-last-true-vote
Marne M September 09, 2012 at 01:01 AM
We grow what we can ourselves - tomatoes, peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, and beans to name a few, plus a few melons in the summer. We also make blackberry and muscadine jelly from the fruit on our property. We have four small apple trees that we hope will yield more produce in the future (only five apples this year). I definitely support using local farmers as much as possible. Sometimes this is cost prohibitive, of course. The biggest difference I've noticed is simply that things that are locally grown and "organic" (many locally grown products are organic, minus the expensive certified organic label required by the government) simply taste better. I've never gotten a blueberry or raspberry from the supermarket that tastes as good as the ones fresh off the bush/vine. Tomatoes from the store are often tasteless too. And if it doesn't taste good, what's the point?
Marne M September 09, 2012 at 01:08 AM
I love the point that the author makes about supporting the community, too. When I buy something from the Statham Farmers Market, or from one of my neighbors, I know the person that I am supporting. I know that it's not going into the pot of some large nameless/faceless corporation somewhere -- it's paying for art classes for my friend's daughter, for example. I like supporting my community, and the people here, because I know that they will support me in turn.
Athens Mama September 09, 2012 at 03:22 AM
To all the skeptics about organic, I challenge you to the Earthfare Apple Juice taste test: Text EAT to 71700. You will get a text message that will afford you 40% off a grocery trip to Earthfare. You'll have to use it the same day. Go to Earthfare and buy a gallon jug of the Earthfare brand all natural apple juice. It used to be organic, but for whatever reason, now it is just labeled "all natural." Buy the $6 jug of apple juice for $3.60 plus tax. Now go to Kroger or Wally World, or wherever you buy regular apple juice, and buy a half gallon of Mott's or Whitehouse or Kroger brand apple juice. Take home and refrigerate. Sit down with your family and pour cups of both apple juices. Begin with the Earthfare apple juice. I don't buy all organic because I can't afford all organic. However, I've read a lot on the subject and recommend buying all organic bell peppers.
Tammy Osier September 09, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Actually, my daughter is a trainer and says that we should eat as close to natural as possible, forgoing as much "packaging" as possible. For instance, for a snack, instead of a poptart, make some cinnamon or peanut butter toast. I make a shake every morning in the blender and am able to get my green stuff and fresh fruit and it's delicious. A cup each of kale and spinach, frozen fruit (mangos, peaches, berries, pineapple) and two bananas. I add extra berries to make mine a purple shake. Add 1/4 cup of water and blend. It's extremelt sweet, you don't taste the green stuff and there is NO SUGAR except what is found naturally in the fruit. I make it while I wait for my coffee to perk; it takes that little time. Add some protein (oatmeal or eggs) and you'll stay full til lunch. And because you didn't put anything in your body that will make you crave anything un-natural, you'll probably make better choices for lunch. Look at all the vitamins, minerals etc... that you get from a breakfast like that. best news of all is that the total calories is 300 - for the whole amount of the blender and it provides 2-3 servings.
Athens Mama September 09, 2012 at 04:31 AM
On this, Tammy, we agree. I agree wholeheartedly with you in regards to diet. What I do not have in my kitchen in organic foods, I make up for with fresh foods or frozen fruits. More carrots, cucumbers, kale, leaf lettuce, sea weed, all natural (but not organic) meat, etc. Less potato chips, other starches and carbs, less sugar. We do have turbinado and instead of coffee I drink decaf tea with turbinado.
Tammy Osier September 09, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Athens-mama- I think that's the key - fresh. that's what my daughter says. Make it as fresh as possible. The shake can be anything. You can substitute cucumbers and celery for the other greens or even make yourself a homemade V-8. The difference is that it tastes (better, I think), and you don't have 875 milligrams of sodium. I think that's the key. My daughter says, "If it can spoil, it's good for you...if it has a long shelf life, it's not". I'm with you that you don't have to get legalistic about it, but just be mindful of what you eat. Not sure bout giving up my coffee just yet though :)
Tammy Osier September 09, 2012 at 12:14 PM
AM - try the shake! I make mine purple (by adding berries - blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries- they sell a pkg. of that at Kroger). Berries are supposed to be loaded with anti-oxidants. The kale and spinach are leafy green vegetables. At my age, I can use all of those I can get.
David September 09, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Turbinado is refined sugar with added molasses. True turbinado sugar is after the first refining step but that isn't available anymore unless you have the capability of smuggling it from a refinery.
Racer X September 09, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Tammy is right about the shakes, it does work. Sometimes I have three or four of them in the morning. I make mine with garden tomatoes and vodka. YUM! I use the new 3 Vodka. It's made from Soy, has zero carbohydrates and is Gluten-free.
Tammy Osier September 09, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Well, Mike, as long a you don't try to go to work thereafter...lol
North Georgia Weather September 09, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Mike, I'll just have a spicy V8 and vodka. Thanks. :-) I feel twice as healty when I have two.
Racer X September 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Don't worry Tammy, that's just a Sunday morning thing. I could only go to work after that if I had a government job, where actual performance is a non-issue :-)
Marne M September 09, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I have a government job. If I came to work with liquor in my system, I would be fired.
Chris September 09, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Y e a... I think Mike was being facetious. I suppose you missed that.
Marne M September 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I believe that was his intent, sure. I just didn't find it particularly amusing or poignant in any way. Sarcasm or not, it was demeaning to the many government workers who work very hard serving the public every day.
Racer X September 09, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Marne- I am sorry, it must have been the shake talking. That was not aimed at the large portion of government employees that must actually perform, just the ones that do not, like, say, the President for example.
Susan September 09, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Having worked in ground water cleanup their really isn't anything that is truly organic unless they are filtering all their water supply. Which doesn't remove all chemicals. So if you share an aquifer with anyone who uses pesticides, or fertilizers it will be in all the water supply, maybe not as high levels as directly on the plant but your getting some. Both have the same nutitional value, unfortunately mass production has lost alot of the flavor and texture. A soft peach, tomato, etc. will get mushed, so they are like hard balls to deliver. So remember when your voting to de-regulate, the more in the soil-the less organic.
Marne M September 09, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Thanks Mike! I imagine that I was probably hypersensitive in the moment that I read the comment. I definitely understand the frustration that can be leveled at many government workers and even I get upset at the leaders of the government in the county where I work, so it's not a unique feeling. I wish the bad examples would quit rubbing on off on those of us who work hard at the daily grind!
Tammy Osier September 09, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I'm a gub'nent worker too and I knew he was just taking a stab at political humor. But there are a lot of situations where no matter how poorly someone performs, they can't get fired, so you end up with the poor hardworking people having to do the work of the mediocre people who take advantage of them. I've been in a situation like that and it's no fun at all.

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