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Organic No Better Than Conventionally Grown? Ha!!

Posted Jul 31 2009 10:45am

It was an actual sunny and hot day in Halifax yesterday and it finally felt like summer should! I spent my lunch hour at Local Joe Cafe & Market (I seem to becoming a regular there) and I enjoyed another tasty Joe’s fizzy lemonade:

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And I sat by the window enjoying the breeze, shade and some bloggin’:

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I had the most fun burning almost 300 calories after work jumping on the trampolene. I’m tellin ya you guys, it’s hard work! I had a major sweat going on and I had my heart rate in the high 160’s. My butt and abs are sorrrrrrrrrrrre this morning! (More than from Tuesday's Bootycamp!) So fun!

Supper was soooooooo goood, I had to share it with ya’ll.

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It was a salmon salad which consisted of:

  • can of wild pacific salmon
  • sweet farmer's market carrots
  • english cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • red pepper
  • fresh farmer's market organic spinach
  • sliced black olives
  • corn off the cob
  • avocado
  • Hellman’s EVOO mayo
  • dijon mustard

on a bed of fresh greens. HOLY YUM! I’m enjoying some for lunch today!

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P.S. I love saying "fresh farmer's market" 'cause it makes it sound so much tastier doesn't it?!

On a related noted, today's latest buzz in the health food world is that "there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs." Published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is a systemic review of sources of research and publications including PubMed, Web of Science, and CAB Abstracts for a period of 50 y from 1 January 1958 to 29 February 2008, and which also including contacting subject experts, and hand-searched bibliographies and included peer-reviewed articles.

The review consisted of 52,471 articles and of those, they "identified 162 studies (137 crops and 25 livestock products); 55 were of satisfactory quality. In an analysis that included only satisfactory quality studies, conventionally produced crops had a significantly higher content of nitrogen, and organically produced crops had a significantly higher content of phosphorus and higher titratable acidity. No evidence of a difference was detected for the remaining 8 of 11 crop nutrient categories analyzed. Analysis of the more limited database on livestock products found no evidence of a difference in nutrient content between organically and conventionally produced livestock products."

The analysis concluded, " On the basis of a systematic review of studies of satisfactory quality, there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs. The small differences in nutrient content detected are biologically plausible and mostly relate to differences in production methods. "

Here's the thing though, maybe this review may sway folks that there may be little nutritional differences between the two, but this analysis has nothing to do with the affect of pesticides both physiologically on humans or environmentally. I hope that folks who get wind of this information do not discount the other benefits of organically grown produce and livestock because there are other important reasons for choosing organic!

In days where many people are pinching pennies, while many people simply cannot afford to buy organic, many people have expressed that they would still not make that sacrifice and pay the higher premium. I wonder now, in light of this new information, will it now sway people to relax their "rules" on choosing to buy organic. I'm thinking maybe not because those people who are "sticking to their guns" and choosing organic in tougher economic times are, in my opinion, likely more informed about the concerns of pesticides and the use of hormones and antibiotics and not just nutrients alone.

I know that it is far more difficult in Canada, or at least in Nova Scotia (compared to the U.S.) to buy organic (especially meats), due to cost and accessibility (even though it is steadily improving and becoming more accessible and slightly more affordable), so it does mean making a financial sacrifice to do so. While I don't buy 100% organic, I am steadily doing it more and more and for me, I sometimes choose buying organic over a new pair of shoes and this information hasn't affected my view.

Opinions:

What do you think? Do you buy organic? Do you buy local? How easy or how difficult is it for you? In light of this information, does it change your mind?

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