When I first started writing my upcoming book Organic Manifesto a year ago, I fully expected to have lots of information about how organic foods are healthier for you because they are more nutritious. The more research I did, the more I realized that nutrition is the least of our worries. Aside from the fact that the nutritional content of just about ALL of our food has declined over the past 50 years, we are, as a rule, overfed. And good nutrition is available from many sources in our diet.
So I wasn't surprised in the least when a report was released last week by a British research team saying that a review of studies showed that organic foods aren't more nutritious than chemical foods. As it turns out, there are some significant flaws in the way that analysis was done, as reported by Rodale.com and others. But beyond that is a larger point: The quest for more nutrition should be the last reason to eat organic foods.
What's the first reason? The REAL reason we should eat organic foods? The real reason to eat organic food is that the thousands of chemicals used to grow chemical foods are causing horrific health and environmental problems. In my book (due out in March 2010) I discuss multiple well-documented studies from reliable sources showing that chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and the GMO's used in chemically based food production, are implicated in, if not causing, the following health problems: diabetes, obesity, cancer, autism, Parkinson's disease, male sterility, genital deformities, female infertility, miscarriage, infant deformities, ADHD, hormonally caused gender confusion, asthma, allergies, accelerated aging, and smaller penises in boys, amphibians, and other wildlife.
I have also discovered (and reveal in my book) that the chemicals used to grow so-called "conventional food" are responsible for the majority of our climate-change problems, the majority of our water-pollution problems, the majority of our plant and insect disease problems, and the majority of our economic woes.
Sounds crazy, but it's true. You'll have to wait until the book comes out to find out the details. But in the meantime, for your sake, for your kid's sake, and for the planet's sake, keep on eating organic!
For more from Maria Rodale, go to Maria's Farm Country Kitchen.