This week I’ve been working on a story about the reaction of local businesses and farmers to a new study Stanford University released stating that organic foods are no more nutritious than conventionally grown foods.
What’s interesting is that this study is really a study of studies. Researchers sifted through over 200 other research papers to study difference between organic food and non-organic. Needless to say, when I interviewed a local organic farmer and the owner of Clover’s Market, an organic grocery store, the first problem they had with the study was it’s inability to point to real evidence through observing individuals in a population, rather than simply looking at past studies.
Another point they made was organic food is about more than nutrition. The soil practices organic farmers use are typically better, there are no pesticides and the food tastes better. They, and many of the media’s reports on the issue, question the validity of the study for all these reasons.
I feel the take-away is there will always be skepticism out there over whether organic foods are worth the higher price, however, it’s important for the public to really pay attention to what they read and remember the full picture. Some studies are just not as valid as others.