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Stanford Study Flawed: Organic Produce May Be More Nutritious After All

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the eat-it dept.

Science 305

assertation writes "A few weeks ago an article was posted to Slashdot referring to a Stanford Study stating that organic produce, contrary to popular belief is not more nutritious. According to Mark Bitman of The New York times the Stanford study was flawed. A spelling error skewed the results as well as the study ignoring several types of nutrients."

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$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555261)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, She is Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.

Disproof of all apk's statements: http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043 [slashdot.org]
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040729&cid=40949719 [slashdot.org]
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http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040425&cid=40946755 [slashdot.org]
http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043 [slashdot.org]
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40942439 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3024445&cid=40942207 [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038597&cid=40942031 [slashdot.org]
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http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40952991 [slashdot.org]
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AND MANY MORE

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words

alexander peter kowalski
903 east division st.
syracuse, ny 13208

dob: 01/31/1965

mother:
jan kowalski
dob: 12/03/1933

Re:$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555345)

I am intrigued and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (1)

cstec (521534) | about 2 years ago | (#41555441)

You clearly have spent a lot of time on this. Could you repeat the text many times in almost the same way?

Wow! Such thing! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555271)

I can't believe such as this could transpire! How such thing! How such thing! 'You don't say (so)!' Why are you do cower...

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555279)

First! (Non-spam, that is!)

Of course! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555281)

Organic produce contains more carbon, which is a rather essential nutrient.

Re:Of course! (5, Funny)

Vombatus (777631) | about 2 years ago | (#41555415)

And organic produce is easier to digest than inorganic.

Re:Of course! (2)

Adriax (746043) | about 2 years ago | (#41555463)

I dunno, the end result of the digestion process is the stuff coming out the other end. Well McDonalds and Taco Bell are really REALLY efficient at passing through your system as quickly as possible.
Gotta count for something nutritiously, even if they are inorganic.

Re:Of course! (4, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#41555597)

I always thought that the secret ingredient in Organic produce was copious amounts of horse shit.

That depends. (3, Funny)

raehl (609729) | about 2 years ago | (#41555647)

In some areas of the country, bull shit is more readily available.

Re:Of course! (2)

tragedy (27079) | about 2 years ago | (#41555573)

Well, not necessarily. Inorganic compounds can still contain carbon. For example, diamond and graphite are considered inorganic. So, you can have a big old bowl of graphite/diamond stew and it's inorganic, but still has more carbon than pretty much any organic food.

Re:Of course! (4, Funny)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 2 years ago | (#41556039)

If we're making chemistry based jokes, my favorite is organic salt [amazon.com]

COME ON! (5, Funny)

zippo01 (688802) | about 2 years ago | (#41555289)

I just won the argument over this with my vegan vegetarian girlfriend. Now this! Damn it, Well, I won't being getting any for awhile. good thing the .XXX search is up.

Re:COME ON! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555325)

You should have known better.

There is no such thing as 'winning an argument with your girlfriend' - there is only losing and 'delayed losing'.

Re:COME ON! (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41555583)

Or he could go back to his wife

He can still win. (5, Funny)

raehl (609729) | about 2 years ago | (#41555665)

Next time he's getting some oral favors, he should scream, "OH MY GOD YOU'RE EATING MEAT!"

He'll have to dump her after that, but sometimes there's a price for victory.

Re:COME ON! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555355)

As long as she's putting that meat in her mouth, she will get her daily dose of protein. Just remind her to swallow when it cums time.

Re:COME ON! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555425)

Well, maybe you should consider the obvious: You are BOTH wrong! ;)
(At least she's not right, right? XD)

Re:COME ON! (1, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | about 2 years ago | (#41555471)

No you haven't. That idiot from the NYT has a really, really, really wrong definition of the word "nutritious".

Re:COME ON! (4, Informative)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 2 years ago | (#41555829)

From TFA:

"Yet even within its narrow framework it appears the Stanford study was incorrect. Last year Kirsten Brandt, a researcher from Newcastle University, published a similar analysis of existing studies and wound up with the opposite result, concluding that organic foods are actually more nutritious. In combing through the Stanford study she’s not only noticed a critical error in properly identifying a class of nutrients, a spelling error indicative of biochemical incompetence (or at least an egregious oversight) that skewed one important result, but also that the researchers curiously excluded evaluating many nutrients that she found to be considerably higher in organic foods."

So, no, he doesn't have the wrong definition of nutritious. You just read the first two paragraphs or so.

Re:COME ON! (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41555495)

I just won the argument over this with my vegan vegetarian girlfriend. Now this! Damn it, Well, I won't being getting any for awhile.

I think you misunderstand the way girlfriends work. You won't be getting any for a while because you won an argument. Admitting that your argument was flawed and she was right all along, may, depending on the moon cycle, be a factor in resolving this problem.

Re:COME ON! (2, Funny)

dadioflex (854298) | about 2 years ago | (#41555833)

I expect a bunch of vegans went and "persuaded" the researchers they'd made a little mistake with their research, Tony Soprano style. Then they all had a lie down because that much activity is going to exhaust a vegan.

Smug alert (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555307)

Cue the smug from the hippies...

Re:Smug alert (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555445)

That's nothing compared to the smug we've been getting out of teabaggers like you for the last few weeks.

Re:Smug alert (1)

micheas (231635) | about 2 years ago | (#41555983)

That's nothing compared to the smug we've been getting out of teabaggers like you for the last few weeks.

FYI Teabagging (NSFW). That combined with the neologism santorum makes me feel sorry for fifth grade teachers that are supposed to be teaching modern US politics.

oh, heck! (4, Funny)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#41555329)

I ain't gonna even look at these damn articles anymore. I'm gonna stick with cigarettes and chocolate cake.

And coffee.

And bacon. mmmmmm bacon.

"Elizabeth...I'm coming to join ya!"

Re:oh, heck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555503)

With the exception of cigarettes, the rest of those things, consumed in moderation (of course), will keep you healthy. Judging by your name, you should probably keep with the cigarettes, then.

Re:oh, heck! (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about 2 years ago | (#41556007)

I ain't gonna even look at these damn articles anymore. I'm gonna stick with cigarettes and chocolate cake.

And coffee.

And bacon. mmmmmm bacon.

"Elizabeth...I'm coming to join ya!"

No, sorry. Coffee is off the menu. I guess that just leaves bacon, cigarettes and chocolate cake.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251093.php

Coffee consumption can lead to a greater risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma, the primary cause of secondary glaucoma, all over the world.

Not looking for organic produce to be better (4, Insightful)

Archfeld (6757) | about 2 years ago | (#41555333)

just not covered in nasty pesticides and such. If it is tastier that would be a plus but I'd settle for not likely to introduce dna altering substances into my system.

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (2)

scourfish (573542) | about 2 years ago | (#41555399)

Organic produce usually does have pesticide residue on it.

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555467)

Particularly when it comes from China (most of the time) where a lack of regulation destroys any credibility of its "organic-ness"

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (2, Interesting)

dankasak (2393356) | about 2 years ago | (#41555727)

Why the hell would anyone buy organic produce from China? People who choose organic are also usually choosing local produce, for similar reasons ( environmental impact ). Certainly I only buy local ( when I can't source the food from my own organic garden ).

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41556083)

And you organic hippy lot wonder why nobody likes you? The verb is "PICK," you self-important cumstain. Optionally "Harvest," if you don't mind sounding like an effete cocksmoker.

Now please go choke yourself on a locally-sourced summer squash. It may hurt, but think of how much lower your carbon footprint will be.

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41555511)

Pesticides, antibiotics, and even Prozac are already in the water system. Most nutrient levels will be similar - the original study is largely correct unfortunately.

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#41555895)

Obama is drinking too much tap water? That explains it!

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (0)

dankasak (2393356) | about 2 years ago | (#41555703)

What a stupid statement! Do you know what 'organic' is supposed to mean? If you have found ( God knows how you verified it ) some organic produce that had pesticide residue, you should report it and have the organic certification stripped.

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (3, Informative)

Americano (920576) | about 2 years ago | (#41556107)

Uh... do YOU know what "organic" is "supposed to mean"? (Hint: It doesn't mean 'grown without any pesticides whatsoever.')

Organic farmers routinely use "organic" pesticides on their organic crops.

Read more: http://web.pppmb.cals.cornell.edu/resourceguide/index.php [cornell.edu]

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (4, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 years ago | (#41555991)

Ya, one big pro-organic person said "duh" when he was told of this result. The point of organic isn't about the nutrition, it's about the other things.

Too many people get all their basic knowledge from the internet and their neighbors, and they get it all wrong. Especially with foods and nutrition there are a huge number of just stupid ideas floating around and you can not dissuade those people that their idea is wrong because they read it on the net.

The other factor is the person who diets, exercises, stops smoking, and also some fad health thing; when the person feels better they claim it is of course due to the fad health thing (colon cleansing,raw food, more water intake, acupuncture, inacupuncture, etc).

Re:Not looking for organic produce to be better (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 2 years ago | (#41556089)

The point of organic isn't about the nutrition, it's about the other things.

It isn't hard to find claims [organicconsumers.org] that it is more nutritious (although to be fair I can see how there may be some merit to some of those claims under certain conditions, given all the variables that go into producing crops), and if those other things are shown false, yet more other things will be brought in to justify organic. It sounds like the a classic moving goalpost to simply say that organic is all about other things.

Lack of Significance != Lack of Significance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555357)

The latest findings from university research.

Nitrates are perfectly healthy... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 2 years ago | (#41555369)

...and the idiot writing the hit piece doesn't seem to know that.

http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008/07/does-banning-hotdogs-and-bacon-make.html [blogspot.com]

"What may be more surprising to learn is that scientific evidence has been building for years that nitrates are actually good for us, that nitrite is produced by our own body in greater amounts than is eaten in food, and that it has a number of essential biological functions, including in healthy immune and cardiovascular systems. Nitrite is appearing so beneficial, it’s even being studied as potential treatments for health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, sickle cell disease and circulatory problems."

Re:Nitrates are perfectly healthy... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555527)

You do realize that Nitrites and Nitrates are different things, right? In the cycle, first stage bacteria break down Ammonias (poisonous) to Nitrites (still poisonous) and second stage bacteria break down Nitrites into Nitrates (mostly harmless below 60-100ppm). It's up to your kidneys to flush what they can into your urine.

Re:Nitrates are perfectly healthy... (1)

rs79 (71822) | about 2 years ago | (#41555913)

It also helps when they don't measure nitrate content of freshly fertilized food. Which hot dog company paid for this?

You're describing one part of the nitrogen cycle, what happens depends on the amount of oxygen and there are a couple of pathways here.

Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (4, Insightful)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 2 years ago | (#41555383)

They both grow in dirt (organic and conventional), they are the same plant, they don't, on balance, have more or less of anything than the rest of the fruits and vegetables. Bottom line if you want to pay 3X as much for your food buy organic. If you just want to eat and get the most nutrition for your $$, buy conventional. And don't forget, we can't feed the world's population organically. Can't be done!

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (2)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 2 years ago | (#41555465)

I like how you've been modded down except everything you've said is, at a very basic level, correct.

When we're talking about organic foods being better for you, you're talking about very minuscule amounts. Nutrition doesn't even factor into the argument, or shouldn't unless you're already a brain-dead raving vegan and are just piling more stuff on to support your personal lifestyle choice.

The real reason to choose Organic foods is to avoid the harmful pesticides. The only trouble with that is the "Organic" food industry has been commercialized as well so good luck verifying the chems used or not used.

Unless you grow it yourself you could be shit out of luck.

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (5, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 2 years ago | (#41555515)

I don't even really care about the pesticides. All I know is that when I cut open a conventional industrially grown greenhouse tomato and compare it to the tomatoes I get from the organic farm stand, the organic tomato is redder, smells better, and is a lot tastier. This is really all that matters to a foodie like me.

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555723)

A foodie who wants red tomatoes. You should probably read this. It'll help you be a more effective pretentious douche like the ones I work with:

  http://m.npr.org/story/155917345?url=/blogs/thesalt/2012/06/28/155917345/how-the-taste-of-tomatoes-went-bad-and-kept-on-going

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555847)

That is because conventionally grown tomatoes are picked unripe because they transport better and are then speed "ripened" with nitrogen gas, which really just causes the outside to turn from red to green. Which is why conventional tomatoes taste like ass.

But most people think American cheese is food, so, good luck trying to convince people to eat better. I gave up years ago and just worry about my own health and am thankful that i'm privileged enough to by almost all of my food organic and local. Not everyone has that luxury!

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (2)

BetterThanCaesar (625636) | about 2 years ago | (#41556105)

I like how you've been modded down except everything you've said is, at a very basic level, correct.

There's no "-1: Incorrect" mod, so why would correctness matter when moderating?

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555499)

they don't, on balance, have more or less of anything than the rest of the fruits and vegetables.

Unless you have data to back that up, you're just guessing.

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41555791)

What the organic plant has less of is pesticides. That may be better for you. Stanford showed that they don't have more nutrients, on average -- unless pesticides are nutritious. In fact, I would have thought the extra bugs you'd be eating along with your organic produce would increase the protein content.

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555837)

"And don't forget, we can't feed the world's population organically. Can't be done!"

Care to back that up, or do you just have a grudge against people that want to eat better?

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (1)

rs79 (71822) | about 2 years ago | (#41555919)

The difference is, you're not gonna be certified organic if you're growing on top of a gas station or factory that was bulldozed but left oil, mercury, dioxin or who knows what in the soil as the soil has to be tested and certified as part of certification. It's a whole lot more than just no pesticides.

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about 2 years ago | (#41555943)

They both grow in dirt (organic and conventional), they are the same plant, they don't, on balance, have more or less of anything

Care to explain why purchased (conventional) produce tastes like cardboard, while garden-grown stuff is delicious? To me that suggests some inequality on chemical level.

Also your notion that they both "grow in dirt" is uninformed. There exists artificial soil, and even the dirt can be soaked in various chemicals so much that a better name for it would be "a toxic dirt-like stew that maximises vegetable size". The possible side-effects, such as maximizing risk of cancer, etc are usually overlooked.

Honestly, the food industry competes on cost, they will inject rat poison in the soil wuthout a pause if it can increase their margin by 2 cents per pound. That simply cannot produce "the same plant".

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 2 years ago | (#41556005)

Care to explain why purchased (conventional) produce tastes like cardboard, while garden-grown stuff is delicious?

That's like trying to compare stir fried food with yesterday's leftover. you are comparing two entirely different things. Of course something you grow yourself and eat fresh is going to be better than something that was shipped from California or Chile or wherever. That does not imply that a growing practice is the cause if it; the difference is in freshness, maturity, harvesting and post harvest treatment, and possibly variety. If you compared the non-organic tomatoes I've grown with an organic one shipped hundreds of miles, I'll bet mine would would be far superior in taste, but not because of how it was grown.

Re:Just eat and shuddup about organic already! (5, Informative)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 2 years ago | (#41555987)

What really gets me is the false dichotomy between organic and conventional. It reminds me of how medical quacks try to differentiate between conventional and alternative (or naturopathic or whatever) medicine when the rational thing to do is to focus on what works, not what it is called. Some organic techniques are good. A lot of biological techniques like intercropping, crop rotation, focus on soil microbes, insect mating disruption, passive pest control methods like use of predator insects, increased use of biodiversity, ect. are positives. But that does not mean you should be dogmatic about it, which is exactly what organic is: naturalistic dogma. A natural pesticides is fine in organic production (and before anyone assumes organic uses no pesticides, look up the approved pesticide list), but not a synthetic one, simply on the basis of its origin? That is the classic appeal to nature fallacy. And while it is true that excessive fertilizer use has many negative consequences, why should responsible use of synthetic fertilizers be forbidden? Soil fertility management is damned complex, and it is presumptive to think only 'natural' methods are going to be of sustainable benefit. Genetically engineered crops are a great example of the naturalistic nature of the organic dogma. You can apply Bt to a crop, but if the crop does it itself, it is suddenly forbidden? Even something as simple as an apple modified to not brown can never be organic. Why? It is not natural (or rather, it is not natural and is popularized, unlike things like mutagenesis and chemically induced polyploidy).

My point is that organic has some things going for it, but not because it has some special label like 'organic'. What it has going for it are the biological techniques it uses. Of course, these techniques are not exclusive to organic; if you think your average farmer does not pay attention to things that can make their operations better, you are mistaken and have probably never even set food on an actual farm before. Ultimately, the focus should be on the scientifically verified merit individual practices, not on some label that represents a collection of practices grouped together based on the appeal to nature fallacy with some after the fact justification. The dichotomy misses the point entirely (unless the goal is marketing of course, in which case oversimplifications work great, and absolutes tend to create more true believers than nuance). Even if organic did produce more nutritious food, that would still not support the superiority of organic so much as it would indicate that there is an attribute of some growing method causing the increased nutrition that should be determined, explained, and focused on.

People will only remember the other story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555421)

Some people will only believe whatever was said the first time round, horse, bolted, yada yada. My family rejoiced that my decision to purchase mostly organic was a huge waste of my money and effort, try telling them now that the study might of been flawed. My conspiracy/cynical side tells me this is the reason sensationalist crap gets printed in the first place just to sway the opinions of the masses.

Re:People will only remember the other story (0)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 2 years ago | (#41555523)

Your family's pallet is probably dead. The saddest thing is that they will never be able to tell the difference from the taste of that every day roma tomato and the dark red juicy sweet organic tomatos.

Re:People will only remember the other story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41556061)

I dispute that. As somebody else already mentioned, there are other far worse things being done to the produce which could account for the difference in flavor. One of them is the tendency to pick the fruits and vegetables before they're ready and use chemicals to ripen them. Which for health reasons isn't bad, but it can lead to poor quality.

What's more, if you're using chemical fertilizers you don't get to advertise as organic, even if everything else is identical even the product.

Re:People will only remember the other story (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#41555933)

This article is so incredibly biased that it's hard to discover what's actually wrong with the Stanford research. This one reads like a raving lunatic jumping up and down because "the study didn't account for pesticides!" Well, it was a study that compared nutrition based on the nutrient content of the different production methods of food. Imagine that - they studied a bunch of numbers and totaled up their findings. Note that they did not study "which is worse for the environment", or "which food contains more residual agricultural chemicals", or "which tomato tastes better", or "which food contains more antibiotic resistant bacteria", yet those were the arguments he continually raised. That was not what this study studied!

Then he blames the study because “[t]he researchers started with a narrow set of assumptions and arrived at entirely predictable conclusions." Again with the "not really surprised" response. What did he think they were supposed to do, poll the newspaper food editors and ask them which variables to study? If they don't start with a specific set of assumptions and control for as many variables as possible, the results will be meaningless. So he's outraged because they didn't pick his particular variables? Get over it.

Now, could someone study the amount of residual pesticides in ordinary produce versus organically grown produce? Of course. Could someone study the human health effects of those doses of residual chemicals? Sure.

I, too, would like to see the study go even further. I'd ask the researchers to add just a few more data points and have it become meaningful not just to outraged food writers but to all Americans. They should compare the nutrition value per dollar spent in the grocery store, instead of nutrition values per gram. Then the food writers can publish that right next to the unemployment and poverty statistics, and maybe they can write another article about "how low-income people are ruining the ecology of this country because they don't buy as much organically grown food as gainfully employed newspaper food editors." Then we'd could measure his reaction to having both organically grown and genetically modified tomatoes being thrown at him.

Don't dis my flakes! (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about 2 years ago | (#41555431)

Frosted Flakes ARE better than an apple. In fact, they're Grrrrrrrreat!

Re:Don't dis my flakes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555747)

Them's some mighty fine cereal flakes, Mrs. McDonnough.

THIS is how science works. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555435)

Why some people see ignorance and stiffness in the face of chances for self-improving learning as something good, I can only explain with mass-insanity...

There is no bad and good in being right or wrong. It is always useful, to know better.

(Having just read TFA . . . ) Why is this here? (5, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | about 2 years ago | (#41555437)

First off, this is an editorial from the opinion section of the New York Times - hardly considered the once and future source of "News for Nerds - Stuff that Matters".

Second, this is not a scientific article. It is an editorial. Yes, I suppose Mister Bittman has a valid opinion, even some good supporting information to demonstrate that he has some understanding of the subject under discussion. Nonetheless, I don't think Mr. Bittman is even remotely what would be considered an expert in the areas of horticulture, agriculture, food production, nutrition, animal husbandry or any of at least a dozen other disciplines which might make his opinion any more informed than my own.

Not to criticize Mr. Bittman - he is an editorial author providing articles for a major news outlet. He has written a well thought-out, interesting editorial - but that's all. He doesn't have direct evidence to refute the findings of the Stanford Study - he doesn't even have any direct criticisms of the methodology employed by the Stanford group (which he should have, IMHO). What he has is an editorial opinion - well expressed, thoughtful, but at the end of the day still just his opinion.

Re:(Having just read TFA . . . ) Why is this here? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555481)

If you read TFA you would have understood why the study was flawed, and you don't have to be an expert (which he isn't) to understand why it is.

You are using the false justification that only an expert can accurately comment on matters. Even a layperson can see an obvious flaw and does not need qualifications to be correct. Honestly given what you wrote, I'm not sure you even read the article, which makes it all the more interesting that you made a point of claiming you did in your topic.

I have to ask, is this another one of those pro-Monsanto shill accounts? There's a lot of them.

Re:(Having just read TFA . . . ) Why is this here? (1, Funny)

lokitekone (2745691) | about 2 years ago | (#41555601)

Are you a shill for any number of companies that sell products marked "Organic" for a pretty dramatic mark-up?

Re:(Having just read TFA . . . ) Why is this here? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555631)

Seriously? There are a lot of pro-Monsanto shill accounts on slashdot? Slashdot, the place where people form opinions on agriculture practices?

The shill accusations at Microsoft, Google, and Apple get ridiculous enough, but at least they have some skin in the game.

As for the article: the first five paragraphs had no substantive information whatsoever. The next three try to redefine nutritious such that the study results fit his purposes. Why didn't he just stick with arguing that not having trace pesticides was a valid discriminant, rather than trying to make nutritious about something other than nutrients? At absolute worst, the science reporting was flawed, not the study, by this argument. You have to *read* to understand; anybody going by headlines alone has already made their decision.

The next bunch of paragraphs is more blithering.

Then the paragraph about the spelling error on flavonol links to an article that appears to actually be written to by a competent person with a valid rebuttal. No credit for burying a link to a real rebuttal in a bullshit one.

Then four more paragraphs of babbling.

Re:(Having just read TFA . . . ) Why is this here? (1)

drolli (522659) | about 2 years ago | (#41556017)

i also thought the same thing:
we have

a) a meta-review carefully collected from over 200 studies by independent persons and peer-revirewed in an reputable journal

b) A opinion article which overstates the original statement of the study, agrees with it in larger parts, event cites from it, and is, without anonymous peer review.

Big question: will people accept b) as a valid critics to a) on the same level. Obviously yes, on slashdot. The good title would have been: "some people dont like the results (as simplified by the media) of a study and opinionate against it."
News at 11. Have seen that the last twenty years *for all* subjects related to climate change, organic farming, renewable energy etc. Somehow it seems that the will to accept scientific results ends at the point where peoples assumptions, which they may have based their habits of the last 20 years on are proven wrong. I have seen that from all sides, and as a scientist it deeply annoys me.

The original statement of the study AFAIU was: peticides and other things which should *not* be there are less in organic food. However the nutritious value is *not* significantly better.

The latter claim is one i hear very often from my friends for whom organically grown crops have super-powers. Obviously not so simple (as the study has shown), but for certain types of crop you may still want to avoid the pesticides (i prefer that for *some* fruits where i know that pesticides may be used strongly).

But that is up to you, and i am sure by looking deeper into the study and the cited sudies you may get clues how to select the right organic food.

A flawed rebuttal (4, Insightful)

jammer170 (895458) | about 2 years ago | (#41555443)

This rebuttal is exactly why news reporting is so poor. This author has no scientific training, and his specific claims of the study being flawed betray that lack. To make his point he has to redefine the definition of nutritious from "more nutrients" to "lacking pesticides". This is why scientists are needed to peer review results - not some John or Jane Doe off the streets, or a certain New York Times journalist in an opinion piece.

The study is very clear - for a certain set of nutrients, organic produce does not have more than regularly grown produce. At no point does the author of this rebuttal ever attempt to show otherwise. The fact that the study didn't test everything doesn't make it flawed. The interpretation of the results - that organic produce is no more nutritious than regular produce - may be flawed. If the study contained the most important nutrients, then the interpretation is correct. Personally I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to the Stanford scientist over the journalist until some serious peer review comes in. Frankly, there's nothing to see here but some journalist with an overblown sense of his own abilities.

Re:A flawed rebuttal (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#41555785)

Exactly what I was thinking when I read it - he basically seems to think that scientific studies are done to push their findings and make hard conclusions, rather than experiments that publish their findings. It was the ridiculous new media he's a part of that made the assumptions and conclusions he has issue with.

It's almost amazing how horrible his understanding of scientific studies are when he talks about how it was "narrowly defined" (generally a GOOD thing!) and "isolates the findings from a larger context (also important to good science - the worst studies are the ones that try to make sweeping conclusions based on their results).

Basically, don't knock the study, it was just a summary of collected data that was very clear about what it was saying. Knock the clueless journalists and pundits (of which BIttman is clearly one) for pretending it was any more than that.

Re:A flawed rebuttal (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 2 years ago | (#41555849)

"For a certain set of nutrients" = conveniently )or as the article put it, "curiously", not those nutrients which the research from Newcastle University found to be higher in organic foods.

For a meta-study, that's a pretty bad.

All Right (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#41555449)

Time to do a new study, then. Bjorn! Hans! To the sciencemobile!

Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (3, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | about 2 years ago | (#41555455)

Lets look at the meat of the article

In fact, the Stanford study — actually a meta-study, an analysis of more than 200 existing studies — does say that “consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”

Since that’s largely why people eat organic foods, what’s the big deal? Especially if we refer to common definitions of “nutritious” and point out that, in general, nutritious food promotes health and good condition. How can something that reduces your exposure to pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria not be “more nutritious” than food that doesn’t?

Because the study narrowly defines “nutritious” as containing more vitamins.

So his problem is the authors were dishonest because they didn't adhere to his incorrect definition of nutritious.

And near the end
Like too many studies, the Stanford study dangerously isolates a finding from its larger context

That's a feature, not a bug. The role of a research paper isn't to make some broad sweeping conclusion, it's to carefully explore a narrow question, were the organics more nutritious, and on that question the answer was no.

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (4, Insightful)

MattskEE (925706) | about 2 years ago | (#41555549)

You missed some important points when you draw your conclusion:

That's a feature, not a bug. The role of a research paper isn't to make some broad sweeping conclusion, it's to carefully explore a narrow question, were the organics more nutritious, and on that question the answer was no.

This very important section of the article (emphasis mine) is conspicuously absent from your post:
Yet even within its narrow framework it appears the Stanford study was incorrect. Last year Kirsten Brandt, a researcher from Newcastle University, published a similar analysis of existing studies and wound up with the opposite result, concluding that organic foods are actually more nutritious. In combing through the Stanford study she’s not only noticed a critical error in properly identifying a class of nutrients, a spelling error indicative of biochemical incompetence (or at least an egregious oversight) that skewed one important result, but also that the researchers curiously excluded evaluating many nutrients that she found to be considerably higher in organic foods.

At this point that given that two research institutions have published metastudies with opposite conclusions, and that errors and oversights have been identified in the Stanford study, I'd have to say that the jury is out on this topic.

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (2, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | about 2 years ago | (#41555649)

You missed some important points when you draw your conclusion:

That's a feature, not a bug. The role of a research paper isn't to make some broad sweeping conclusion, it's to carefully explore a narrow question, were the organics more nutritious, and on that question the answer was no.

This very important section of the article (emphasis mine) is conspicuously absent from your post:
Yet even within its narrow framework it appears the Stanford study was incorrect. Last year Kirsten Brandt, a researcher from Newcastle University, published a similar analysis of existing studies and wound up with the opposite result, concluding that organic foods are actually more nutritious. In combing through the Stanford study she’s not only noticed a critical error in properly identifying a class of nutrients, a spelling error indicative of biochemical incompetence (or at least an egregious oversight) that skewed one important result, but also that the researchers curiously excluded evaluating many nutrients that she found to be considerably higher in organic foods.

At this point that given that two research institutions have published metastudies with opposite conclusions, and that errors and oversights have been identified in the Stanford study, I'd have to say that the jury is out on this topic.

Sorry, I did notice that section of the article but forgot to address it. Partly that's a bit of scientific he-said she-said that I don't have the expertise to evaluate, but the other part is I don't really trust the reporter.

The reporter has both shown a strong bias towards organics, and a willingness to bend facts (the tortured definition of nutritious) to unfairly attack the author's integrity. So I don't know if the Kirsten Brandt study was a good one, or if the excluded nutrients were important ones, or if there's any one of a dozen other reasons that those sentences could be misleading. The Standford study could be wrong, but this NY times article won't be the one to convince me, this reporter already lost my trust and I'm not going to take him at his word.

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#41555809)

Sorry, I did notice that section of the article but forgot to address it. Partly that's a bit of scientific he-said she-said that I don't have the expertise to evaluate, but the other part is I don't really trust the reporter.

Yep, he also quoted the "Columbia Foundation" response as fact refuting the study, which is about like quoting Fox News as fact that Obama is a muslim terrorist.

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41555585)

Right. Let's just make "nutritious" and "wholesome" have the EXACT same meaning! Why do we need all these pesky words to have different meanings from one another anyway??

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555717)

"Nutritious" doesn't just mean "containing nutrients" it means:

nutritious adjective
having substances that a person or animal needs to be healthy and grow properly : promoting good health and growth

and

wholesome

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: healthy, decent

Synonyms: all there, beneficial, clean, edifying, ethical, exemplary, fit, good, hale, health-giving, healthful, helpful, honorable, hygienic, in fine feather, in the pink, innocent, invigorating, moral, nice, normal, nourishing, nutritious, nutritive, pure, respectable, restorative, right, righteous, safe, salubrious, salutary, sane, sanitary, sound, strengthening, together, virtuous, well, worthy

"Wholesome" and "nutritious" are synonymous. It's perfectly correct to say that food containing pesticides and antibiotic resistant bacteria is less nutritious without considering the amount of vitamins etc. that they contain because they do not "promote good health and growth" as well. Well, they might promote growth but it's not the good kind.

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (1)

brit74 (831798) | about 2 years ago | (#41555823)

"Nutritious" doesn't just mean "containing nutrients" it means:
nutritious adjective - having substances that a person or animal needs to be healthy and grow properly : promoting good health and growth

I disagree. Nutritious food generally does mean a food that promotes good health and growth because that's what nutrients do - i.e. provide your body with the nutrients it needs for good health and growth. But, conversely, just because something "promotes good health and growth", that doesn't mean it's "nutritious". For example, a vaccine contains things that "promote good health". Washing your hands "promotes good health". Drinking clean water "promotes good health". None of those three things are referred to as "nutritious", even though vaccines and water are put into your body.

Could you imagine someone saying, "drinking clean water is more nutritious than drinking dirty water"? Yet, drinking clean water promotes good health, so why not? In general, people who are into organic food believe that it contains more nutrients (in addition to containing fewer pesticides). If we're going to use "nutritious" to mean two slightly different things, then we are put into a bad position of not being able to differentiate between those two issues (nutrients in the food and pesticides on the food). Nutritious means that it contains nutrients which help the body.

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555973)

Could you imagine someone saying, "drinking clean water is more nutritious than drinking dirty water"? Yet, drinking clean water promotes good health, so why not? In general, people who are into organic food believe that it contains more nutrients (in addition to containing fewer pesticides). If we're going to use "nutritious" to mean two slightly different things, then we are put into a bad position of not being able to differentiate between those two issues (nutrients in the food and pesticides on the food). Nutritious means that it contains nutrients which help the body.

Water is a nutrient. In fact it has one of the six main categories of nutrients all to itself. Water IS nutritious. "Nutritious" doesn't primarily mean "containing nutrients". Google for the definition of "nutritious". Every online dictionary leads with the idea that "nutritious" means "nourishing". Contaminated food and water IS less nourishing.

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#41555995)

Yeah, so, this is a scientific study, which means you should be pulling from medical dictionaries when possible, not general purpose dictionaries, since these words probably have specific meanings. In fact, in doing a quick Google for your definition of the word, it looks like you really had to stretch to find one that seemed to support your argument, since the OED, M-W, and plenty of others all define it pretty much as "nourishing" or "full of nutrients", and M-W's medical dictionary defines it as "providing nourishment". Honestly, you need only glance at the word "nutritious" to understand its roots and that it is clearly related to the idea of nourishment and nutrients (my thesaurus (Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus) even lists "full of nutrients" as a synonym).

In the context of the study, "containing nutrients" is exactly what nutritious means, though, to be clearer, they probably should have specifically defined how it would be used somewhere in the paper. They may have done so. I haven't read it, but it's good practice in research papers to define the terms you're using if you're going to be making specific claims, that way you avoid these types of problems later.

For additional reading, see: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1174 [phdcomics.com]

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (1)

brit74 (831798) | about 2 years ago | (#41555743)

After reading the article, I was about to post a comment similar to yours. I'd vote you up if I had mod points.

Re:Flawed only if you redefine nutritious (0)

brit74 (831798) | about 2 years ago | (#41555909)

To add to your point, the article also says:

That the authors of the study chose to focus on a trivial aspect of the organic versus conventional comparison is regrettable. That they published a study that would so obviously be construed as a blanket knock against organic agriculture is willfully misleading and dangerous. That so many leading news agencies fall for this stuff is scary.

Yes, the authors of the study chose to focus on "a trivial aspect of the organic versus conventional comparison". And by "trivial aspect" he means the actual nutritional content of the food. (roll eyes)

I also like how the author writes:

Susan Clark, the executive director of the Columbia Foundation, summed up the flaws of the Stanford approach perfectly in a letter to her colleagues, "“The researchers started with a narrow set of assumptions and arrived at entirely predictable conclusions. Stanford should be ashamed of the lack of expertise about food and farming among the researchers, a low level of academic rigor in the study, its biased conclusions, and lack of transparency about the industry ties of the major researchers on the study. Normally we busy people would simply ignore another useless academic study, but this study was so aggressively spun by the PR masters that it requires a response."

The "PR masters"? My first thought was that this sounded rather biased on Susan Clark's part. I looked up Susan Clark and the Columbia Foundation. In one article Susan Clark writes: "Our communities desperately need a transformation of our food system. All over the country, people are calling for locally produced, healthy, fresh, affordable food... The sad fact is that most of our food is still produced on huge industrial farms and shipped thousands of miles. We dig it out from layers of plastic without knowing where it came from, when it was harvested, or if it has any nutritional value left." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-clark/delicious-nutritious-loca_b_522555.html) So, it sounds like she's a big proponent of organic/local food (and is likely biased), but I'm still rather doubtful that she's well informed on the science.

The about page for the Columbia Foundation says "The foundation's broad philanthropic purpose has given it flexibility to respond to changing social conditions. Long-standing interests in world peace, human rights, the environment, cross-cultural and international understanding, the quality of urban life, and the arts have evolved to reflect current conditions and opportunities." Gee, that seems awfully broad. How am I supposed to accept the opinions of Susan Clark when food isn't even a main area of study for the Columbia Foundation? My initial thought was that, since the foundation's positions are very broad and seems to conform to a kind of "hippy" worldview, it's likely that her opinions about organic food are largely informed by those kinds of preexisting beliefs about the world - i.e. organic food is good, regardless of what other (more well informed) people might say about it.

uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555473)

Seriously ... anyone believe this study wasn't skewed from the start. I mean paid for up front by BioAg. Anybody? Seriously if you believe that this is a real study involving the scientific method and *all that stuff* Please reply.

I don't care (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555509)

I actually only eat organic and non-GMO food. Not for any health benefits, but rather, because there is no other way to avoid genetically modified food in this country where GMO's are fast track approved without any real studies. People look at me like I'm crazy, but I look at them like they're crazy for just eating this sci-fi nightmare come true. I for one prefer to eat food, not genetically modified pesticide magnets patented and owned by ridiculously evil corporations like Monsanto. Just my two cents.

Dammit! (2)

no-body (127863) | about 2 years ago | (#41555587)

It's not only about nutrients but the trace pesticides heavy metals, manipulated genes and what else is good to degrade your health.

Not even talking about taste - compare an organic and not-so apple.

Pesticides? (1)

englishknnigits (1568303) | about 2 years ago | (#41555603)

I may be off here but I thought the main argument for eating organic was that it wasn't covered with pesticides and herbicides that you end up ingesting.

Re:Pesticides? (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 2 years ago | (#41555845)

It is one of the bigger points of organic food that is brought up every time the nutritional advantages of organic food is questioned. It is assumed that you pay for what you're not getting. Of course, that takes fro granted that you should be concerned about trace residues of those things, or that the pesticides applied in organic production are leaving safer residues, but nonetheless, that is still one of the arguments for organic food.

Re:Pesticides? (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | about 2 years ago | (#41555859)

I may be off here but I thought the main argument for eating organic was that it wasn't covered with pesticides and herbicides that you end up ingesting.

And that it tastes better. Which, at least around here, it generally does. The taste difference between a cheapo mass-produced greenhouse tomato from the Netherlands and an organic one bought on the local market here is mindblowing.

I cannot find the primary source for this claim. (1)

brillow (917507) | about 2 years ago | (#41555609)

Bittman says that Kristen Brandt of Newcastle University has found this spelling error. I find this interesting as a plant chemist. However, he just links to a HuffPo article that doesn't link to Brandt's comments. Every other study I can Google just links back to HuffPo or to nowhere.

Does anyone know where I can read Brandt's claims?

I don't get why this is even an argument (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about 2 years ago | (#41555685)

I usually don't buy organic food because it's more nutritious or "better" in any sense. I do it because I want to support small farmers (they have small, but yet very important role of providing food in my country), and I want to support moderate farming - I don't deny modern improvements in it, I just want to be them applied with a care.

Said that, there are lot of big mass producers who has knowledgeable people and who balance profit with long term thinking. So not so big difference in my region.

Reasons for Eating Organic Food (2)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#41555759)

- Animals are typically better treated (yes organic doesn't mean free range, but in practice they tend to go hand in hand)
- Less toxic residues (pesticides, fertilizers, other mystery chemicals which haven't succeeding in killing us off dramatically YET)
- More Nutrition (grass fed beef vs cornfed) ---- this is the ONE item the meta-study researched
- Better for the environment (see previous lack of toxic pesticides, fertilizers, etc)
- Organic is usually produced by the smaller growers in the market

Re:I don't get why this is even an argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555867)

just some fine print:

organic != local

mexico is booming in the organic tomato biz, and they are raping jungle acreage because of the water & soil requirements to meet organic standards.

so for conscious people like us we have to now look for organic AND local together.

organic from mexico is still bad.

it's so damned complicated to eat with a conscience!

Re:I don't get why this is even an argument (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 2 years ago | (#41556043)

I was just on a small, local orchard the other day. Totally not organic it was. Don't assume that growing methods and small farms are necessarily connected; large operations want in on this market as well. You'd be better off hitting the farmer's markets or asking your grocery store about their suppliers than focusing on organic.

Result-sk3wing spelin6 er0rz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555733)

I wonder why the particular error wasn't mentioned.

Perhaps when comparing the composition of the organic foods, the findings were
50 units of nutrients, 29 units of nutrientz. Clearly, less than the 58 units of nutrients in non-organic. (obviously, i have no idea what i'm talking about)

Or maybe no biochemist would ever make a spelling error, which raises a question of paramount importance: was this report spell-checked with an inferior dictionary? If yes, discard the report. If not, claim spelling doesn't matter anyways.

This is how we do science? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41555771)

A well-researched Stanford study is refuted by an opinion columnist whose side job is selling books that tell you how to eat?

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Our snake oil is still good for you.

The MIssing Link (4, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#41555801)

Brandt wondered how the Stanford team, led by faculty from the School of Medicine and Center for Health Policy, could have found no difference in total flavanols between organic and conventional foods when her own results showed organics carried far more of the heart-healthy nutrient. Upon further inspection, she noticed that the team had actually calculated the difference in total flavonols, a different nutrient, and reported the result with the swap of an "o" for an "a".

From an article ad The Huffington Post [huffingtonpost.com]

Technically it's a spelling mistake which in practice meant the equivalent of searching for apples but counting the number of oranges instead, then writing up a paper on the astonishing lack of apples found.

Too many variables (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#41555851)

Too many variables ... and also one places "organic" could just be the standard practice in another place that doesn't have much of a pest problem and has decent soil.

The true cost of "organic" food (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555971)

IMHO:

When talking about the supposed benefits of "organic" food, you also need to consider the cost, which is 50% to 100% higher off the shelf (not counting the added costs of those foods being more perishable). That difference could be a couple thousand dollars per year, which could have been saved and invested - creating very considerable added wealth [moneychimp.com] by the time you retire! Having this much added money for health care would do far, far more good for your health than the marginal benefits (if any) of eating organic.

When seeking to improve your health through non-medical lifestyle choices, you have to start with things that have the greatest impact. Quitting poisons (smoking, alcohol, too much caffeine, etc) is the first priority - that actually saves you money. For a person with a sedentary lifestyle, getting some regular low-intensity exercise is the second priority - which can actually make you money if you're doing a part-time job or a home business. (Instead of going to a gym, I got a physically intense part-time job at a local factory to get me away from the computer ~25 hours per week, in addition to a 10 minute daily routine of pushups and dumbells at home, plus walking to the store instead of driving.) Eating the proper amount of calories with proper food choices (balance of protein / fat / carbs, with particular attention paid to carb quality) is the third priority - which can save you money as well. These things make a mountain of difference to your health, while any benefits "organic" foods may or may not have, in spite of their great cost, are tiny in comparison!

Eating healthy actually costs very little money. Plenty of non-organic green vegetables cost under $1.50/lb, most dried beans and grains are under $1.50/lb (can be a lot less in bulk), several types of frozen fish are under $4/lb, etc. Other low-price nutrition champs you can buy in bulk include: canned tomato paste, canned sardines, wheat gluten and pea powder (amazingly cheap protein), and certain dried spices. Multivitamin supplements cost pennies per day. Drink more water. Read up on every food you eat (WolframAlpha > FDA nutrition labels) - including the glycemic load [wikipedia.org] , acidity, mercury levels in various species of fish, etc. Make a spreadsheet to calculate what gets you the best nutrition with best taste at lowest cost. Overpriced exotic fruits, processed cereals, soy crap, and other "health food" actually add very little nutrition - just eat more kale instead!

Make exceptions and indulge once in a while - all things according to measure. Avoid religious extremes - both "low carb" (below 150g/day) and veganism are unhealthy. The danger of animal fat, in of itself, is greatly overstated - just avoid processed meats, and limit portion sizes to ~30 grams of animal protein per meal. Avoiding "junk carbs" greatly reduces your risk of diabetes, but you do need some "good carbs" for energy (more if you're physically active). Maintaining a proper sodium (less) to potassium (more) ratio is a very simple thing that can solve most people's blood pressure problems, which can then lead to heart problems - learning to use nutrition-rich low-sodium spices is the best kept secret of healthy cooking. When you get in the habit of using slow-cookers (one for meat and legumes, another for grains), with a couple of minutes of prior planning, you can grab a hot healthy meal in less time than it takes to microwave a junk-food product!

These are just some "healthy lifestyle hacks" that I've found. Avoid fads, do your own research, track and analyze your data, and think for yourself.

--libman

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