Sept. 12, 2012
-- According to the New York Times, organic produce sales have increased by 12 percent since 2010. Many people buy organic food because they think that it is better for their health. However, a recent study done by the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine has shown that organic food is not necessarily better for one’s health. The study was performed by a group of researchers at Stamford University.
The researchers analyzed 237 previous studies that compared organic food to traditional food. They found that children who ate organic foods did have lower levels of insecticides and pesticides in their urine. However, both groups of children had very small levels of insecticides and pesticides. The researchers concluded by saying that the use of household cleaning products was most likely the culprit behind the chemicals in the children’s urine.
Previous studies suggest that small amounts of insecticides and pesticides can be dangerous. However, the researchers caution that switching to organic food may not be the best way to avoid ingesting chemicals. Smith Dewall, who is the food safety director at Center for Science in the Public Interest, stated that is best for parents to pay attention to where the produce has been grown. He stated that it is best to buy produce that was grown in the United States or Canada.
The researchers did find a significant difference in organic meat and traditional meat. They found that organic meat and traditional meat are equally likely to be contaminated with bacteria. However, the bacteria on non-organic meat is 33 percent more likely to be resistant to bacteria. People can reduce their risk of ingesting contaminated meat by storing and cooking the meat at the appropriate temperature.
Dr. Dena Bravata, who is one of the authors of the study, concluded by saying that organic food really will not make much of a difference in one’s health. Nevertheless, she did state that organic food does have many other advantages over traditional food.
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