Are organic foods healthier for you than their alternatives?

The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Eating organic foods can reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Most independent studies indicate that there are no significant health or nutritional differences between conventionally grown and organic foods. There are few examples of organic or conventional crops with higher levels of a particular nutrient, but at levels that are not materially significant.

When relative costs, the cost per unit of nutrient, are taken into account, conventional crops come out far ahead. Most nutritionists say that it is more important for people to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables regardless of how they are grown. There is no independently produced evidence in the scientific literature that organic foods offer consistent nutritional or safety advantages over conventional foods. The Stanford University analysis, for example, revealed that organic foods had 30 percent less waste than conventional foods, but all conventional foods had levels of pesticides within global safety standards.

While organic farmers are prohibited from using synthetic pesticides that might be safer than some natural chemicals, conventional and organic crops are often treated with the same pesticides. Leifert himself is the owner of an organic farm in Greece and is a strong public defender of the claim that organic foods offer substantial health benefits compared to conventional products. There have also been numerous reports published by advocacy groups that suggest that eating organic foods reduces exposure to harmful pesticides. Health experts and consumers have long debated whether organic foods are more nutritious and safer than conventional foods.

Some critics of organic agriculture, including biotechnology enthusiasts, have argued that organic farmers use greater amounts of toxic pesticides than conventional farmers. Organic products had a slight advantage in terms of food safety, with 30% less pesticide residues than conventional foods. Consumers often consider organic food to be healthy, tasty and environmentally friendly, but organic food certification is not necessarily synonymous with safe food. Traditional foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, poultry, meat and eggs) and the health outcomes of eating these foods Following their example with guilt, I can't help but wonder if organic food has as much of an impact on my family's health as it does on my wallet.

Leifert said that the studies were “further evidence of the health benefits of organic foods and should encourage people to reconsider their food choices.” The report noted that, often, people who eat organic foods are the same people who had a healthier diet from the start, making it difficult to assess the impact of organic foods on individual health.