Can the UK study be trusted?

The 50-year study that I woke up to on my alarm clock showed no nutrition advantage to organic food. Unfortunately, it looks as if the Foods Standard Agency is headed by people connected to agribusiness and grocery stores. Wouldn't these groups profit long-term if sustainable, local farming method and markets went away?

It's so sad that the first thought I had when I heard the report on NPR this morning was, "What flaw(s) did this data have?" Conflict of interest for one, shutting down the report prior to 15 relevant studies on organic foods coming out for another.

There is good data on the increased antioxidant content of organic produce, not to mention the lower levels of carcinogenic chemicals, benefits to the earth and the fact that harvest loads are largely no different.

The problem is that someone on the other side of the fence will argue about the flaws in that data. And they would be right. Several of those studies are funded by groups connected to organic growing.

So the real issue is that there is no such thing as unbiased "evidence-based" nutrition that impacts any significant change. The change in thought or philosophy based on a study or series of studies is nearly impossible. We are set in our ways and beliefs and this drives us to find fault in all conflicting data. I realize this and so try to truly change my outlook based on the studies that come out, but the truth of the matter is: If that NPR report this morning told me a 50 year study of organic food shows its better, I would have never questioned it and enjoyed my organic blueberries for breakfast with a big smile.

Contributed by:

Dr. Jeffrey Gladd


Dr. Jeffrey Gladd graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2001. He then went on to train in family medicine...

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Dr. Jeffrey Gladd
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