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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

September 3, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Organic food is not extra-nutritious…are we surprised?

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A new study on organic foods concludes that they aren’t any more nutritious than conventional eats. Are we surprised? Not really. For one thing, another meta-study three years ago reached pretty much the same conclusion.

But I am surprised at the take-away that organics aren’t worth the extra money simply because they don’t contain extra vitamins. The study did find, after all, that organic foods contain substantially fewer pesticide residues (which I always thought was their main appeal.) It found that “organic chicken and pork were less likely to be contaminated by antibiotic-resistant bacteria” and that “organic milk contained more omega-3 fatty acids,” according to the New York Times, and that organic produce contained “more compounds known as phenols, believed to help prevent cancer” (though the researchers warned that the size of that difference varied between studies.) The study didn’t address other potential benefits such as the health of farmworkers and farm soil.

One of the more interesting findings, at least to me: Riper produce, whether organic or not, did actually contain more vitamins, per the Times. That sounds like a whole other avenue of research.

File photo: Courtney Blethen/The Seattle Times

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