When I woke up yesterday and saw the headline, “Organic produce is no healthier or nutritious, finds study,” I was very curious. What exactly did this study look at and how did they come up with their conclusion? Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was interested. Our twitter page blew up with comments and articles on what the study missed. Mark Bittman showed a wee bit of frustration in his tweet:
Ridiculous Study Claims Organic Same as Conventional, irritates anyone capable of thought: http://buff.ly/NaNeKI
The Standford Study, as it is being referred, is a “meta-analysis” of a few hundred previously published research papers on the topic. The researchers reviewed the studies and and summarized the results in the journal, The Annals of Internal Medicine.
The Purpose: To review evidence comparing the health effects of organic and conventional foods.
The Conclusion: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
While this sounds compelling, there was a whole lot left out. For example, two glasses of milk might be identical when it comes to the amount of vitamin D or calcium, but vastly difference when you start comparing added hormone or antibiotic levels. Also, nutrition is not the only reason why people choose organic. In the last day, I’ve read numerous articles about the Standford Study. To further understand what the study actually did and did not include, I urge you to read these three compelling articles.
5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short
by Tom Philpott of Mother Jones
As an investigative journalist, Tom takes a deep dive on the study and points out the multitude of risks that pesticides both
Change in season: Why salt doesn’t deserve its bad rap
If you follow our blog, you may remember a recent post, Is ANYTHING Good For Me?, where salt was a source of much contention. It appears I’m not the only one trying to understand the sodium dilemma. In this article, Kristin Wartman explains why sodium is not all bad and why you should mainly consume unrefined sea salt. Read the full story on Grist.org
Pediatricians Warn Against Energy and Sports Drinks for Kids
Gatorade commercials are pretty compelling. Picture the mega athlete dunking a basketball and then sweating out droplets of brightly colored “dew.” Healthy? Many moms think so. Unfortunately, sports drinks are loaded with sweeteners, artificial colors and extra calories and are not suited for children. Don’t even get me started on energy drinks. If parents are allowing their children to drink something, that by definition, will give them “energy,” the kids need more sleep. Read the full story on NPR.org
McDonald’s is making headlines again, this time for their Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. In Mark Bittman’s New York Times Opinionator article, How to Make Oatmeal…Wrong, he lambastes McDonald’s for turning their oatmeal into “expensive junk food.”
So why is McDonald’s oatmeal so unhealthy? It starts with the fact that their new “bowl full of wholesome” contains 21 ingredients or as Bittman says,
“A more accurate description than “100% natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”
So what is actually in the oatmeal? McDonald’s first ingredient list shows: Oatmeal, Diced Apples, Cranberry Raisin Blend, Light Cream. Wow, only 5 easy-to-understand and simple ingredients; sounds good, right? But then as you look down the page a bit you realize that each of those ingredients have sub-ingredients: