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Stanford Study Flawed: Organic Produce May Be More Nutritious After All 305

assertation writes "A few weeks ago an article was posted to Slashdot referring to a Stanford Study stating that organic produce, contrary to popular belief is not more nutritious. According to Mark Bitman of The New York times the Stanford study was flawed. A spelling error skewed the results as well as the study ignoring several types of nutrients."
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Stanford Study Flawed: Organic Produce May Be More Nutritious After All

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  • by dankasak ( 2393356 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @12:59AM (#41555727)
    Why the hell would anyone buy organic produce from China? People who choose organic are also usually choosing local produce, for similar reasons ( environmental impact ). Certainly I only buy local ( when I can't source the food from my own organic garden ).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 05, 2012 @02:05AM (#41555971)


    When talking about the supposed benefits of "organic" food, you also need to consider the cost, which is 50% to 100% higher off the shelf (not counting the added costs of those foods being more perishable). That difference could be a couple thousand dollars per year, which could have been saved and invested - creating very considerable added wealth [] by the time you retire! Having this much added money for health care would do far, far more good for your health than the marginal benefits (if any) of eating organic.

    When seeking to improve your health through non-medical lifestyle choices, you have to start with things that have the greatest impact. Quitting poisons (smoking, alcohol, too much caffeine, etc) is the first priority - that actually saves you money. For a person with a sedentary lifestyle, getting some regular low-intensity exercise is the second priority - which can actually make you money if you're doing a part-time job or a home business. (Instead of going to a gym, I got a physically intense part-time job at a local factory to get me away from the computer ~25 hours per week, in addition to a 10 minute daily routine of pushups and dumbells at home, plus walking to the store instead of driving.) Eating the proper amount of calories with proper food choices (balance of protein / fat / carbs, with particular attention paid to carb quality) is the third priority - which can save you money as well. These things make a mountain of difference to your health, while any benefits "organic" foods may or may not have, in spite of their great cost, are tiny in comparison!

    Eating healthy actually costs very little money. Plenty of non-organic green vegetables cost under $1.50/lb, most dried beans and grains are under $1.50/lb (can be a lot less in bulk), several types of frozen fish are under $4/lb, etc. Other low-price nutrition champs you can buy in bulk include: canned tomato paste, canned sardines, wheat gluten and pea powder (amazingly cheap protein), and certain dried spices. Multivitamin supplements cost pennies per day. Drink more water. Read up on every food you eat (WolframAlpha > FDA nutrition labels) - including the glycemic load [], acidity, mercury levels in various species of fish, etc. Make a spreadsheet to calculate what gets you the best nutrition with best taste at lowest cost. Overpriced exotic fruits, processed cereals, soy crap, and other "health food" actually add very little nutrition - just eat more kale instead!

    Make exceptions and indulge once in a while - all things according to measure. Avoid religious extremes - both "low carb" (below 150g/day) and veganism are unhealthy. The danger of animal fat, in of itself, is greatly overstated - just avoid processed meats, and limit portion sizes to ~30 grams of animal protein per meal. Avoiding "junk carbs" greatly reduces your risk of diabetes, but you do need some "good carbs" for energy (more if you're physically active). Maintaining a proper sodium (less) to potassium (more) ratio is a very simple thing that can solve most people's blood pressure problems, which can then lead to heart problems - learning to use nutrition-rich low-sodium spices is the best kept secret of healthy cooking. When you get in the habit of using slow-cookers (one for meat and legumes, another for grains), with a couple of minutes of prior planning, you can grab a hot healthy meal in less time than it takes to microwave a junk-food product!

    These are just some "healthy lifestyle hacks" that I've found. Avoid fads, do your own research, track and analyze your data, and think for yourself.


"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama