Is organic food worth it, health-wise?
August 6th, 2014
09:30 AM ET
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Editor's note: Aaron E. Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the director of its Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. He blogs about health policy at The Incidental Economist and tweets at @aaronecarroll. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Recently, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition said that organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious.

A press release declared it the "largest study" of its kind. Because of its size and breadth, some people believe that it trumps previous research which showed organic food did not appear to be any safer or more nutritious than conventionally grown food.

Despite the hoopla, I think this study offers little new information and is not very convincing in making a claim that organic food is somehow "better for you."

This new study, like many before it, was a systematic review and meta-analysis. That means it wasn't a new clinical trial or report of laboratory research. It was a specific kind of analysis that allows for a "study of studies." Basically, researchers set out to find all relevant research in a field, and then combine all of it together into one big analysis.

Read - Is organic food better for you?

Clarified: What does "organic" mean?

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Filed under: Health News • Organic

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. kbogale


    #Samuel #Bogale #Calgary #Alberta

    May 30, 2015 at 7:52 pm |
  2. DibblesandDabs

    Reblogged this on Dibbles and Dabs and commented:
    What are your thoughts on the benefits of organic food? Are they truly better for you or is this just another fad? Read below what eatocracy has to say regarding this food trend.

    January 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm |
  3. nutritionrecipe

    Reblogged this on Nutrition Recipe and commented:
    Organic foods are more expensive but do you really think its worth it?!

    October 8, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
  4. Jaime

    The issue isn't just the nutritional value of the finished product... it's the entire cycle of production. I don't think there's much doubt that organic is more sustainable, and i'm willing to spend a little (sometimes alot) more for that reason alone – not because I think I'm any healthier for it.

    September 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • fascinatedspectator

      The sad fact is the so-called "organic" food production consistently yields far less food and is in the end, LESS sustainable. If the entire world consumed ONLY so-called "organic" and non-modified foods, a major global portion of otherwise healthy people , particularly in third world countries, would not be alive today for a complete lack of available food! Genetically engineered crops have greatly increased global food production and has saved MILLIONS of lives as a result. In order to keep up with the increasing needs of an ever-growing world population, the efficiency and output of global food production will have to be increased by 50%-100% of todays output if future populations are to survive into the next century!

      December 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
  5. Kyle

    And I will make a bet that this professor is handsomely rewarded with his observations by the deep pockets of Monsanto, Cargill or WR Grace (or similar). Anyone with any kind of brain function would know that food laced with synthetics such as chemicals, steroids, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms are not going to make positive contributions to human body function or development.

    August 23, 2014 at 6:35 am |

    Who needs a study on this, isn't it common sense? Poison/Bad Chemicals vs none.

    August 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
    • What?

      "Poison" and "bad chemicals" are frequently used on organic foods. They are just natural in origin instead of being made synthetically.

      August 19, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • Justin Case

      Think about what you're saying when you say "chemical-free." H2O is made of chemicals whether it's from your tap or sold in the "magic" bottles you insist on buying. Those bottled water companies are truly supporting the adage that there's a suquker born every minute.

      August 19, 2014 at 9:36 am |
  7. o'really

    it's not a study. it is a review of all the other studies.

    no new info / data. nothing new at all.

    nothing more that "most studies said..."

    August 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • Anh

      You would find that lots of research papers are, in essence, a summary of previous studies. I think the point is they manage to filter the information and show what they think about them. Not that I believe this thing about organic food, though. I mean, people have been arguing for ages about the topic, and unless someone does a whole new test, summarising previous works won't solve the problem.

      September 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
  8. Sapphire

    It's not worth the chase if you're already healthy and are just trying to maintain.

    August 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  9. kuanny

    Reblogged this on Kuan's Blog.

    August 8, 2014 at 10:35 am |
  10. AleeD

    That was funny.

    August 7, 2014 at 7:58 am |
  11. Christopher

    I'm wondering who funded this "study." I would not be surprised to see Monsanto or National Grocery as funders. THere are plenty of studies showing the opposite. Suspect everyone for their perspective until you figure out who is really behind their information. Eat local and organic whenever possible.

    August 6, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
  12. HipSter

    I've said it before on here, and it is true: Unless you are eating an all locally sourced, organic vegan diet, you are eating garbage...

    August 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      Hate to remind you, but the healthiest, longest lived societies on this planet eat... seafood! Okinawans, Mediterraneans. Forget the vegan thing. Yes, eat plenty of veggies, but add in some fish!

      August 7, 2014 at 3:15 am |
    • Carn E. Vore

      But no one cares what about your ignorant opinion or your vegan diet.

      August 7, 2014 at 10:19 am |
      • gamerelite2004

        I'll eat anything I please!

        August 7, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
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