Think organic food is better for you, animals, and the planet? Think again
What we eat is seen as more important than ever. And everywhere we are urged to go organic: we are told it is more nutritious, it improves animal welfare and helps the environment. In reality, that is mostly marketing hype.
In 2012 Stanford University’s Centre for Health Policy did the biggest comparison of organic and conventional foods and found no robust evidence for organics being more nutritious. A brand-new review has just repeated its finding: ‘Scientific studies do not show that organic products are more nutritious and safer than conventional foods.’ Likewise, animals on organic farms are not generally healthier.
A five year US study showed that organic ’health outcomes are similar to conventional dairies’. The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety found ‘no difference in objective disease occurrence.’ Organic pigs and poultry may enjoy better access to open areas, but this increases their load of parasites, pathogens and predators.
Meanwhile the organic regulation against feeding bee colonies with pollen supplements in low-pollen periods along with regulation against proper disinfection leads to sharply lower bee welfare. But surely organics avoid pesticides? No.
Organic farming can use any pesticide that is ‘natural’.