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
One of our followers on Facebook sent us this infographic, How Corn Syrup Made America Fat. It contained a few tidbits I hadn’t heard before. Anyone realize that your envelopes and stamps might be sweetened with high fructose corn syrup? This stuff is seriously everywhere! The huge missing fact on this pretty infographic? Corn is one of the major agricultural crops grown from genetically modified (GMO) seeds. And while we’re on the topic of GMOs, I have to give a quick shout out to my California peeps and remind you to Vote YES on Prop 37 in November.
Full infographic below. Take a look and tell us; did you learn anything new about corn syrup or HFCS?
How Corn Syrup Made America Fat: xFirstAidKits.com
Like most women, lotion is a staple in my arsenal of skin care products. My dry skin misses the humidity of the Philippines and begs for lotion. Let’s just say that since moving to dry California, I’ve tried about every advertised lotion promising “the softest, smoothest, and healthiest looking skin.” When Vintage Tradition reached out to Be Food Smart to review their body balms, I jumped at the chance to be the tester (being the wife of the co-founder has its perks!).
Arsenic. When I hear that word I immediately think of a TV mystery where someone’s lover is poisoned to death via the toxin. Today, arsenic is not the star in some made-for-tv drama but rather a news-maker for a completely different reason. Arsenic is in our food and you could be eating it every day. Have you read the recent reports of elevated arsenic levels in apple juice? Just weeks later, and now, it’s showing up in many organic food products.
Environmental chemist, Brian P. Jackson, and his team at Dartmouth, discovered that organic foods containing the popular alternative sweetener, brown rice syrup, tested high for arsenic. Among the foods tested were infant formula, cereal bars, energy bars, and energy “shots.”
‘Organic Water’ is a Thing Now
In rather comical news, a German bottled water company, BioKristall, has gotten the official approval to market itself as organic water. Yes, you read that correctly, organic water. Read Grist’s comical take on this news.
Twinkies for Breakfast? Kids’ Cereals Fail Industry’s own Lame Nutrition Guidelines
The Environmental Working Group, most known for their sunscreen reports and the Dirty Dozen list, just put out a report on the amount of sugar in many popular breakfast cereals. In this blog post, Michele Simon writes, “Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, at nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, won the top prize, packing more sugar (20 grams per cup) than a Hostess Twinkie.” Is it really any wonder our kids have a weight problem? Parents, please read this article and realize that MOST breakfast cereals should be treated like dessert. Read the full story on Appetite for Profit.
The Ultimate Olive Oil Guide
There has been a bit of a brouhaha over olive oil as of late. Put this one down on the if it is good for me, food producers will come in and create a crappy version of it to make more money and confuse consumers page. Olive oil has consistently been touted as the ultimate healthy oil and the demand for the oil has created a slew of sub-par products. Governments in the US and Europe are trying to create/reform olive oil standards, but with mixed success. Nutritionist and food activist, Andy Bellatti, tries to set the record straight and educates consumers so we can all shop EVOO smart. Read the full story on Small Bites.
This week we’re doing a deep dive on the very popular, Greek-style yogurt. The first post, Greek-style yogurt 101, was dedicated to explaining what Greek-style yogurt is, why it’s different than regular yogurt, and how to make it at home. The second post was all about what to look for at the grocery store including fat (we’re pro-fat around here), flavors, and additives. Today, is all about the brands. We took 9 popular brands and compared everything from price to additives. The one thing missing? Taste! We want to see what our readers think:
The brands below are listed in order from best to worst. We looked at the following information to rank the yogurt:
Is your breakfast cereal “natural” or “organic?” Think there is not much difference between the two? You’re not alone. Fancy marketing campaigns specifically designed to trick consumers into believing that these two terms essentially mean the same thing are in play every time you see a cereal box. But the true difference between “natural” and “organic” is huge and one organization took up the challenge of exposing this practice.
A just-released report from The Cornucopia Institute found many breakfast cereals bearing the label “natural” to be loaded with pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and ingredients processed with unnatural chemicals. To be clear, the report was not looking at cereals such as Lucky Charms or Pops, but rather brands like Kashi, Barbara’s and Annie’s Homegrown; cereals and granola which are specifically marketed as health-conscious and “natural.” In Cereal Crimes: How “Natural” Claims Deceive Consumers and Undermine the Organic Label—A Look Down the Cereal and Granola Aisle, the analysis looked at over 45 “natural” cereal brands to determine how natural they really were. They also tested the products for the presence of GMOs. The results of the GMO tests were especially surprising. Even several brands enrolled in the Non-GMO Project contained genetically engineered (GE) ingredients.