Organic Advocates argue that the study Stanford released on organic foods earlier this month was misleading. When Stanford researchers released a study of organic food earlier this month, the headline was the finding of no significant difference in nutritional content when compared with conventional food. But organic advocates say that’s misleading.
“Here’s what the study said. It confirmed the major differences in pesticides on conventional foods and antibiotics in non-organic meat,” Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods, said in an interview today with Yahoo!’s Daily Ticker. “I thought it was a major affirmation of the differences and reasons why someone would choose an organic product.”
Robb also said he disagrees with the conclusion that there is no nutritional difference. He pointed to other studies that he said show nutrient density in organic food 20 to 50 percent greater than conventional food.
The Organic Center, an organic advocacy group, issued a new report this week using analytical tools and data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to determine the nutritional quality and pesticide risk of a typical diet for a 30-year old woman.
The report compares the effects of “Jane Doe’s” traditional diet with a new diet that reflects modest food changes, replacing several high-calorie foods with nutrient-dense fruit and vegetable-based products, and purchasing mostly organic fruits, vegetables, and grain-based products.
The study found that by making a few simple modifications, her daily intake of fruits and vegetables rose from 3.6 servings to 12.3 servings, her overall nutritional quality rose by 79 percent — based on a comparison of intakes across 27 essential nutrients — and by consuming mostly organic fruits and vegetables, her pesticide risk was reduced by over two-thirds.
Jane Doe also consumed 10 fewer calories per day, which is enough to prevent long-term weight gain approaching 10 pounds per decade, assuming Jane remains at least as active as in her 20s.
“Jane Doe’s smart food choices will help stabilize her weight, improve the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy and markedly reduce the chance that pesticides might disrupt or impair her child’s development. This trio of benefits will pay dividends over a lifetime, and perhaps also across generations,” said report author Charles Benbrook, the Organic Center’s chief scientist.
Here’s a list of the the top eight things the study found yielded the greatest benefit when substituted for traditional food items:
1.Whole wheat bread instead of white bread
2.Peanut butter instead of butter
3.Fresh, organic strawberries instead of strawberry jam
4.Plain yogurt topped with fruit instead of fruit-filled yogurt
5.Tomato juice instead of a lemon-lime soda
6.50 percent whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta
7. One whole apple instead of apple pie
8. Light cream instead of coffee creamer