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Organic vs Conventional foods: Part 1 – Which is better?

Posted on October 31st, 2012 by Stephen Hardy | No Comments | Print | RSS

You may have noticed the heated debate that took place in the media recently over whether organically grown food was better for you than food grown by conventional means.

One side loudly proclaimed organic food was better for you because it had higher levels of particular nutrients and wasn’t contaminated with harmful pesticides or antibiotic resistant bacteria. The other side was saying just as loudly organic food was a waste of money, no better for you than conventionally grown food and you shouldn’t have to pay the premium prices for organic food if there was no benefit. And this battle for our hearts, minds and wallets was being raged everywhere you looked. It was splashed across TV, on the radio, in magazines, the print media and on countless websites. It went on for weeks.

As someone with more than a passing interest and a fair bit of background knowledge on the subject (we’ve previously written a book about it), I took a keen interest in the debate. One of the reasons I found the whole thing amusing was each camp was so adamant in their statements, so dismissive of the other sides point of view.

But the crazy thing and something not obvious to the casual observer, was both sides were quoting the same scientific study – a report from Stanford University in the USA – to prove their point (1). Yes, you did read that right: The SAME study!

Hang on a minute? Both sides are using the SAME scientific study to promote completely opposite points of view? How can this be? Is the study wrong? Is someone being highly selective in what they say? Aren’t they telling the truth? And what is the truth? What does the Stanford study REALLY show and what does it mean for you?

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