Day By Day

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Only Fools Buy "Organic"

I have some friends who will be very, very disappointed to hear this:

LONDON (Reuters) - Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.

"A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance," said Alan Dangour, one of the report's authors.

"Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority."

Read the whole thing here.

For several years now I have been consciously avoiding "organic" foods on the grounds that they are no better than less expensive conventionally grown products. The whole "organic" fad always seemed like nonsense on stilts to me, an extension of the silly Sixties quest for "authenticity". It is gratifying to have support for my position from impeccable scientific sources. But the Left's reception of science has always been highly situational and I don't expect this report to have much effect. The people who buy organic are really indulging themselves in a shallow form of snobbery. The emotional payoff of being able to feel morally superior to the common herd is what they are really after. Health considerations are at best a secondary concern.