Organic food - evidence of health benefits?

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by NoNickName, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. NoNickName

    NoNickName Guest

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  2. James

    James Guest

    Um I would stay away from inorganic food if I were you.

    Organic means basically carbon based. That includes plants and animals
    etc. You should eat that stuff. Non-organic is other stuff like iron,
    uranium, asbestos, arsenic etc. Try not to see that as food.

    Oh you mean food grown without the use of chemicals. Sorry.

    I guess unless you are alergic to some of the pesticides etc it
    wouldn't make much difference. Yes it would be nice if the bloody
    plants would grow properly without fertalizer and if the bugs would
    just stop eating them. But well?

    But yeah it can be done. It just costs more. If we want to pay a bit
    extra?

    As to papers. Google is your friend.

    You can find papers in favour of anything there.

    But really with food variety is the thing. Not to much of any one
    thing. A bit of meat, some fruit, some vegatables, some grains. About
    three times a day in reasonable moderation. Then you won't care to much
    about whether it's "organic" or not. It is though.

    How about a tomato and cheese omlet? Some french toast? An apple or a
    bannana? A taosted chicken sandwitch? Or my fave a roll with ham.
    chicken, hot salami, cheese, beetroot (gotta have the beetroot) letuce,
    tomato and cucumber. YUM!

    Or you could have a Big Mack. But personally i might poke at one of
    those with a stick.

    But eat it? You gotta be kidding.

    James
     
  3. NoNickName

    NoNickName Guest

    James wrote:
    > Um I would stay away from inorganic food if I were you.
    >
    > Organic means basically carbon based. That includes plants and animals
    > etc. You should eat that stuff. Non-organic is other stuff like iron,
    > uranium, asbestos, arsenic etc. Try not to see that as food.
    >
    > Oh you mean food grown without the use of chemicals. Sorry.
    >
    > I guess unless you are alergic to some of the pesticides etc it
    > wouldn't make much difference. Yes it would be nice if the bloody
    > plants would grow properly without fertalizer and if the bugs would
    > just stop eating them. But well?
    >
    > But yeah it can be done. It just costs more. If we want to pay a bit
    > extra?
    >
    > As to papers. Google is your friend.
    >
    > You can find papers in favour of anything there.
    >
    > But really with food variety is the thing. Not to much of any one
    > thing. A bit of meat, some fruit, some vegatables, some grains. About
    > three times a day in reasonable moderation. Then you won't care to much
    > about whether it's "organic" or not. It is though.
    >
    > How about a tomato and cheese omlet? Some french toast? An apple or a
    > bannana? A taosted chicken sandwitch? Or my fave a roll with ham.
    > chicken, hot salami, cheese, beetroot (gotta have the beetroot) letuce,
    > tomato and cucumber. YUM!
    >
    > Or you could have a Big Mack. But personally i might poke at one of
    > those with a stick.
    >
    > But eat it? You gotta be kidding.
    >
    > James


    Thanks, but I already know the difference between organic/inorganic
    chemistry... I also understand the difference between food that is
    grown 'organically' and 'conventionally'. They all use fertilisers, by
    the way, including organic food.

    And you're wrong that Google can find papers in favour of anything - in
    this case the request is for scientific papers, and no amount of
    Googling is giving useful results. So, to repeat the question in the
    hope of more enlightening answers - does anyone have pointers to
    scientific evidence for the health benefits of organic food?
     
  4. Max C.

    Max C. Guest

    Buying organic foods is not a "sure fire" way to get more nutrition.
    As you can see from this link:

    http://www.westonaprice.org/farming/soundscience.html

    if you try to turn a conventional farm field into an organic farm
    field, you're going to get poor quality food.

    Try using Google's advanced search feature to search just
    westonaprice.org. When I did so, I found hundreds of pages that
    contain the word "organic." Most people would think that organic foods
    were automatically better, but that's not always the case.

    Max.
     
  5. NoNickName

    NoNickName Guest

    Max C. wrote:
    > Buying organic foods is not a "sure fire" way to get more nutrition.
    > As you can see from this link:
    >
    > http://www.westonaprice.org/farming/soundscience.html
    >
    > if you try to turn a conventional farm field into an organic farm
    > field, you're going to get poor quality food.
    >
    > Try using Google's advanced search feature to search just
    > westonaprice.org. When I did so, I found hundreds of pages that
    > contain the word "organic." Most people would think that organic foods
    > were automatically better, but that's not always the case.
    >
    > Max.


    Max, this isn't a scientific paper - in fact it's founded on an
    explicit rejection of science...
     
  6. Ron Peterson

    Ron Peterson Guest

    NoNickName wrote:

    > ... So, to repeat the question in the
    > hope of more enlightening answers - does anyone have pointers to
    > scientific evidence for the health benefits of organic food?


    You're asking a biased question. The other part of the problem is that
    the term "organic" is vague and subject to various interpretations.

    The "organic" movement is an attempt to separate the process of raising
    food from the big corporations and not primarily to make people
    healthy.

    Pesticides in the food supply, or even in the environment are bad
    things to have, but are things that can be regulated without having to
    be eliminated.

    Pests in the food supply may be a great danger for peoples health. A
    worm in an apple can cause the apple to rot causing toxins.

    --
    Ron
     
  7. Mel Rowing

    Mel Rowing Guest

    NoNickName wrote:

    > Can anyone help with this appeal for papers on the evidence of health
    > benefits to organic food?


    and can somebody help me in relation to organic honey that I've seen on
    supermarket shelves.

    How do they get bees to collect only organic nectar?
     
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  9. NoNickName

    NoNickName Guest

    Ron Peterson wrote:
    > NoNickName wrote:
    >
    > > ... So, to repeat the question in the
    > > hope of more enlightening answers - does anyone have pointers to
    > > scientific evidence for the health benefits of organic food?

    >
    > You're asking a biased question. The other part of the problem is that
    > the term "organic" is vague and subject to various interpretations.
    >
    > The "organic" movement is an attempt to separate the process of raising
    > food from the big corporations and not primarily to make people
    > healthy.
    >
    > Pesticides in the food supply, or even in the environment are bad
    > things to have, but are things that can be regulated without having to
    > be eliminated.
    >
    > Pests in the food supply may be a great danger for peoples health. A
    > worm in an apple can cause the apple to rot causing toxins.
    >
    > --
    > Ron


    I'm attempting to cut through the bias by looking for something other
    than assertion to back up the claims that organic food has tangible
    health benefits. It looks like my failure to find anything isn't down
    to poor search skills, it's down to the lack of scientific evidence
    full stop.

    --
    http://progcontra.blogspot.com
     
  10. Max C.

    Max C. Guest

    NoNickName wrote:

    > Max, this isn't a scientific paper - in fact it's founded on an
    > explicit rejection of science...


    Well, you didn't state the position you were looking for on the
    subject. You also didn't say you were looking for "scientific" papers.
    Are you looking for papers that prove or disprove organic farming?

    Max.
     
  11. Max C.

    Max C. Guest

    Mel Rowing wrote:

    > How do they get bees to collect only organic nectar?


    Heh... yeah, that one has bugged me for quite a while. Especially when
    I mix up red food coloring, white sugar and water for humming birds and
    the feeder is covered in honey bees.

    Max.
     
  12. NoNickName

    NoNickName Guest

    Max C. wrote:
    > NoNickName wrote:
    >
    > > Max, this isn't a scientific paper - in fact it's founded on an
    > > explicit rejection of science...

    >
    > Well, you didn't state the position you were looking for on the
    > subject. You also didn't say you were looking for "scientific" papers.
    > Are you looking for papers that prove or disprove organic farming?
    >
    > Max.


    My original post stated 'papers', I assumed that most people would
    interpret that as scientific papers - but you're right, I didn't state
    it explicitly.

    To be honest I just want evidence one way or the other - pro or anti.

    --
    Progressive Contrarian http://progcontra.blogspot.com
     
  13. vernon

    vernon Guest

    "NoNickName" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Max C. wrote:
    >> NoNickName wrote:
    >>
    >> > Max, this isn't a scientific paper - in fact it's founded on an
    >> > explicit rejection of science...

    >>
    >> Well, you didn't state the position you were looking for on the
    >> subject. You also didn't say you were looking for "scientific" papers.
    >> Are you looking for papers that prove or disprove organic farming?
    >>
    >> Max.

    >
    > My original post stated 'papers', I assumed that most people would
    > interpret that as scientific papers - but you're right, I didn't state
    > it explicitly.
    >
    > To be honest I just want evidence one way or the other - pro or anti.
    >
    > --



    There is no conclusive evidence. Common "knowledge?" says that pesticides
    cannot be good.
    Various fertilizers may be "O.K.". Decayed mater is necessary for a
    "complete" fruit or vegetable. Is that good or bad? Organic labeling in
    the market is almost meaningless unless accompanied by a dissertation of
    what is meant.

    An organic food diet is excellent for a reasons other than being organic.
    An organic food diet typically omits much junk food. Increasing the intake
    of vegetables and fruits while maintaining some animal / fish protein
    provides phytonutrients, fiber, alkalinity, etc, etc. OUTSTANDING health
    advantage.
     
  14. On 4 Apr 2006 09:32:21 -0700, "NoNickName" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> The "organic" movement is an attempt to separate the process of raising
    >> food from the big corporations and not primarily to make people
    >> healthy.
    >>
    >> Pesticides in the food supply, or even in the environment are bad
    >> things to have, but are things that can be regulated without having to
    >> be eliminated.
    >>
    >> Pests in the food supply may be a great danger for peoples health. A
    >> worm in an apple can cause the apple to rot causing toxins.

    >
    >I'm attempting to cut through the bias by looking for something other
    >than assertion to back up the claims that organic food has tangible
    >health benefits. It looks like my failure to find anything isn't down
    >to poor search skills, it's down to the lack of scientific evidence
    >full stop.


    You are largely correct. Organic foods do contain lower levels of some
    pesticides etc, but the levels allowed in normal food are so low that
    it's hard to see how it could make much difference. Certainly a single
    bottle of 'spring' water can contain more than a year's supply of some
    chemicals

    Free range meats can have lower fat etc as the animals exercise, but
    again, you would have to look at that across a person's entire diet

    As you are seeing, the evidence for health benefits of organic are
    marginal

    --

    cheers

    matt
     
  15. NoNickName wrote:
    > James wrote:
    >> Um I would stay away from inorganic food if I were you.
    >>
    >> Organic means basically carbon based. That includes plants and animals
    >> etc. You should eat that stuff. Non-organic is other stuff like iron,
    >> uranium, asbestos, arsenic etc. Try not to see that as food.
    >>
    >> Oh you mean food grown without the use of chemicals. Sorry.
    >>
    >> I guess unless you are alergic to some of the pesticides etc it
    >> wouldn't make much difference. Yes it would be nice if the bloody
    >> plants would grow properly without fertalizer and if the bugs would
    >> just stop eating them. But well?
    >>
    >> But yeah it can be done. It just costs more. If we want to pay a bit
    >> extra?
    >>
    >> As to papers. Google is your friend.
    >>
    >> You can find papers in favour of anything there.
    >>
    >> But really with food variety is the thing. Not to much of any one
    >> thing. A bit of meat, some fruit, some vegatables, some grains. About
    >> three times a day in reasonable moderation. Then you won't care to much
    >> about whether it's "organic" or not. It is though.
    >>
    >> How about a tomato and cheese omlet? Some french toast? An apple or a
    >> bannana? A taosted chicken sandwitch? Or my fave a roll with ham.
    >> chicken, hot salami, cheese, beetroot (gotta have the beetroot) letuce,
    >> tomato and cucumber. YUM!
    >>
    >> Or you could have a Big Mack. But personally i might poke at one of
    >> those with a stick.
    >>
    >> But eat it? You gotta be kidding.
    >>
    >> James

    >
    > Thanks, but I already know the difference between organic/inorganic
    > chemistry... I also understand the difference between food that is
    > grown 'organically' and 'conventionally'. They all use fertilisers, by
    > the way, including organic food.
    >
    > And you're wrong that Google can find papers in favour of anything - in
    > this case the request is for scientific papers, and no amount of
    > Googling is giving useful results. So, to repeat the question in the
    > hope of more enlightening answers - does anyone have pointers to
    > scientific evidence for the health benefits of organic food?
    >


    There's a 1999 House of Lords Report at

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199899/ldselect/ldeucom/93/9301.htm

    that might be of interest, as might one of the sources it cites:

    K Woese, D Lange, C Boess and KW Bögl, "A Comparison of Organically and
    Conventionally Grown Foods - Results of a Review of the Relevant
    Literature" in J Sci Food Agric 1997, 74, pp 281-293

    This, according to their Lordships, is 'A detailed review of over 150
    investigations which compared organic and conventional food concluded
    that there were some differences in food quality[35]. In vegetables,
    there was a trend towards more nutritionally desirable and less
    undesirable components. Higher dry matter levels (ie. lower water
    content) and lower pesticide levels were also found in fruit and
    vegetables. In cereals, there were differences in processing properties,
    where, it was stated, conventionally produced cereals were better suited
    to modern baking requirements. In animal feed preference trials the
    animals showed a clear preference for organic feed. '

    I don't know what the paper itself is like, but at least it'll give you
    another 150 sources to consider!

    In general, I think you might get better results if put in "peer review"
    as one of your search criteria in Google, along with "organic food",
    "health benefits" and so on; I've just tried it, and the hits seem much
    more relevant than they are without it.

    Steve
     
  16. NoNickName wrote:
    > Can anyone help with this appeal for papers on the evidence of health
    > benefits to organic food?


    Hey, how about starting from the the beginning?

    Define organic.

    Specify what eating organic food is supposed to do for people.

    Define appeal for papers.

    Define papers.

    You know, STOP being such an Arse!!!! Use your brain for once.

    Just thought that you might want to know.
    --
    John Gohde,
    Achieving good Nutrition is an Art, NOT a Science!

    The nutrition of eating a healthy diet is a biological factor of the
    mind-body connection. Now, weighing in at 18 web pages, the
    Nutrition of a Healthy Diet is with more documentation and
    sharper terminology than ever before.
    http://naturalhealthperspective.com/food/
     
  17. NoNickName

    NoNickName Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > On 4 Apr 2006 09:32:21 -0700, "NoNickName" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    > As you are seeing, the evidence for health benefits of organic are
    > marginal
    >
    > --
    >
    > cheers
    >
    > matt


    You can say that again, much more marginal than I was expecting to be
    honest.

    --
    Progressive Contrarian http://progcontra.blogspot.com
     
  18. NoNickName

    NoNickName Guest

  19. NoNickName

    NoNickName Guest

    > There's a 1999 House of Lords Report at
    >
    > http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199899/ldselect/ldeucom/93/9301.htm
    >
    > that might be of interest, as might one of the sources it cites:
    >
    > K Woese, D Lange, C Boess and KW Bögl, "A Comparison of Organically and
    > Conventionally Grown Foods - Results of a Review of the Relevant
    > Literature" in J Sci Food Agric 1997, 74, pp 281-293
    >
    > This, according to their Lordships, is 'A detailed review of over 150
    > investigations which compared organic and conventional food concluded
    > that there were some differences in food quality[35]. In vegetables,
    > there was a trend towards more nutritionally desirable and less
    > undesirable components. Higher dry matter levels (ie. lower water
    > content) and lower pesticide levels were also found in fruit and
    > vegetables. In cereals, there were differences in processing properties,
    > where, it was stated, conventionally produced cereals were better suited
    > to modern baking requirements. In animal feed preference trials the
    > animals showed a clear preference for organic feed. '
    >
    > I don't know what the paper itself is like, but at least it'll give you
    > another 150 sources to consider!
    >
    > In general, I think you might get better results if put in "peer review"
    > as one of your search criteria in Google, along with "organic food",
    > "health benefits" and so on; I've just tried it, and the hits seem much
    > more relevant than they are without it.
    >
    > Steve


    Thanks a lot, another reference to follow up.

    p.
    --
    Progressive Contrarian http://progcontra.blogspot.com
     
  20. PeterB

    PeterB Guest

    NoNickName wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > On 4 Apr 2006 09:32:21 -0700, "NoNickName" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > As you are seeing, the evidence for health benefits of organic are
    > > marginal
    > >
    > > --
    > >
    > > cheers
    > >
    > > matt

    >
    > You can say that again, much more marginal than I was expecting to be
    > honest.
    >
    > --
    > Progressive Contrarian http://progcontra.blogspot.com


    I'm suprised. Did you expect something better than a 25% average
    variance in favor of organic? Isn't that quite good?

    PeterB
     
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