Is Organic Produce Really Any Better?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

organic produce signIn an announcement that made parents everywhere scratch their heads in disbelief, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement last month questioning whether organic food was really any better for children than conventional food.  The statement, which was published in the Journal Pediatrics, comes on the heels of a highly flawed Stanford University study released in September 2012 touting similar conclusions.

Dr. Janet Silverstein, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville and co-author of the Academy’s statement which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that conventional pediatricians have truly lost touch with reality (and you’re still listening to these robo docs about vaccines?), said that the science is lacking as to whether eating pesticide free food makes people any healthier.

Hold on just one minute!

The American Academy of Pediatrics actually needs “rigorous” scientific data to prove that eating food without poison is better than eating food with poison simply because the poison is “within safety limits”?

Doesn’t this strike you as just a wee bit ridiculous and tantamount to saying that science hasn’t proved that the sun comes up in the morning so we are going to assume it doesn’t until further studies are done?

As my grassfed dairy farmer is fond of saying, “You just can’t fix stupid”.

For those of you who might have been more than a little confused by this statement, I filmed a brief video to discuss organic versus conventional food as it relates to produce in particular.   I also attempt to clarify the not so obvious point that locally grown fruits and veggies are where it’s at nutritionally speaking even when compared to organics.

Interesting how the American Academy of Pediatrics statement completely omitted this salient point!

The video also discusses how to best clean off pesticide residue from locally grown produce that might have been minimally sprayed or simply not “certified organic”.

What did you think of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ statement?   Did you laugh and shake your head like I did?  Did you roll your eyes in dismay?   Will you change any of your buying habits as a result of it?

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Sources and More Information

American Academy of Pediatrics Says Organics No Better

The Hydroponic Invasion of USDA Organic

Picture Credit


Comments (58)

  1. Aside from all the “scientific” evidence that organic is not better than conventional, anyone who eats organics knows that the flavors of these foods are far and away superior. I peeled an organic apple this morning and the sweet aroma was a joy, let alone the amazing taste. If anyone is still unconvinced that the extra cost is worth it, just give organic fruit a try. I’d be willing to eat less in order to have the best!

    • I totally agree with you Deborah! Typing this as I eat my organic grapes, organic pomegranate, organic banana, organic eggs and organic green tea for breakfast. :)

  2. Pingback: Video: Is Organic Produce Really Any Better? | CookingPlanet

  3. My husband shared this news with me on his way home from work and we both laughed. Not going to change our buying habits at all. We also visited a farm where the guy speaking said there was no difference between conventional factory eggs and those from a farm where the chickens are outside all day. We didn’t take his advice either. All it takes is common sense and your taste buds to tell the difference between what’s good and what isn’t. No panels of experts needed to tell me that.

  4. Every time the American Academy of Pediatrics endorses studies like this they discredit themselves more and more. What a joke. As was previously said it’s all about the money. It’s all about the power.

  5. I am surprised teh egg laying rate is so low. My chickens which are full free range on basically a diet of bugs and grubs and their morning cup of tea lay well in excess of 350 eggs a year. In fact a few weeks ago in teh spring they were laying two eggs a day.I have found by picking them and patting them they lay more than an egg a day.I imagine the oxytocin release from stroking makes them lay more.

  6. I am an organic gardener, but “organic” does not necessarily mean more nutrient dense. Of course it is healthier because of the lack of poison, but far travel does indeed decrease the nutrient value. But if the soil does not have the correct balance of minerals, it could mean big beautiful organic produce full of water and low in nutrition! Sometimes too much organic manure can make the produce toxic (too much nitrogen). A good farmer will be balancing and remineralizing the soil, making sure the soil microbes are active and using well sourced nitrogen. The focus should be quality not quantity, huge monocropping “organic” farms shipping stuff across the country is not the answer. Support the local farmer, even if she is not all organic. Talk to them and find out what is on the food. And grow your own, even on your porch, in pots, or on your city balcony.

  7. Elisabeth Tull via Facebook November 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    We’ve had tons of studies that prove that organics provide more nutrition in a smaller space. It makes sense because organic farmers tend to enrich the soil to make their end product better instead of providing an artificially large product that diminishes the long-term health of the soil. Remember that our nutrients come from the soil.

    Even if organic produce isn’t more nutritious, it is real. There are so many products that are genetically modified, but not labeled, that an educated consumer needs to buy organic just to be sure of what they’re getting.

  8. Blanca Villanueva Perez via Facebook November 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    It’s the propaganda Monsanto is paying for…no surprise. Most sheep prefer to b uneducted & believe (and eat) the crap that is given them. We know that the more u r uninformed, the better for them.

  9. Just a question. How do you know the vinegar rinse actually works? Is there research out there about it? And we also need to keep in mind that pesticides do not just get on the plant, they get IN the plant through the roots and that is impossible to remove.

  10. The Pediatric specialization was created by the drug companies to push vaccines. Just about every Pediatrician is a salesperson for vaccines, and often a very pushy and threatening one at that.

    You are much better off having a family doctor than a vaccines salesperson.

    How stupid is it to claim that you need a rigorous study that no one will ever do to know that poison in food is bad for us?

    And why would anyone ever listen to someone who said so?

  11. I believe the only way to make real food more affordable is to have more of us learning to produce it and doing so on whatever scale our current home situation can allow for. Once people start growing food in whatever small spaces they have, they often find that they can get a lot more out of their space than they would have ever believed before they began to do it. I think we all need to have a victory garden and a spirit of love and cooperation that helps us help others catch the gardening but and learn to do it.

  12. Tabitha Goebel via Facebook November 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    We feed our five children real foods, but to say it is easy to do financially is not true. It does cost more especially if you are living on one income and do not receive assistance, but I feel the cost is well worth it! The savings in healthcare alone justify the added expense of a nutritionally dense grocery bill.

  13. No matter how many big organizations get in on the “conspiracy” to try to ensure that it is “common knowledge” that all those chemical pollutants are really no big deal, I am still going to keep moving towards real farmers who are moving in a really healthy direction for my food and for their land.

  14. If the AAP believe that pesticides are at acceptable levels in conventional food, they should also look at the effects as pesticides accumulate in the body. I may have been able to eat non-organic apples as a kid, but in my late teens (and to this day) my throat starts to close up when I eat a conventional apple yet not organic ones. The only difference I can attribute that to is – pesticides. Plus how many parents know to soak produce in the vinegar/filtered water combo that Sarah illustrated in the video in order to remove as much of the pesticides as possible?

    Would these pediatricians who favor conventional foods be willing to use their own families as guinea pigs and measure the toxin levels in their kids before/after conventional foods vs organic ones?

  15. Anna Savage-Powers via Facebook November 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Joan- I totally agree with you! We don’t make much money, but for a very reasonable amount we eat real food all the time! You hit the nail on the head- it takes hard work to prepare healthy food, and that is something a lot of people just aren’t willing to do.

  16. Brittany Lane via Facebook November 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I thought the studies were comparing vitamin and nutrient content between organic and non organic. Which I never new was even a thought…. I aim for organic so my family can get LESS chemicals and so on!

  17. Joan Priest via Facebook November 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I hear the argument that it’s hard for families to afford REAL food…but I have to say…I am about as POOR as it gets.
    I am a single Mom getting no help from the “sperm donor” and I can figure out how to feed my kids REAL food.
    I use coupons and sales to save money for the items like organic produce that rarely has coupons.
    Sure it would be easier to throw fast food on the table and be done with it but if you just put a LITTLE effort into it and make a few better choices…
    you CAN feed your family REAL food on very little money.

  18. I thought it quite ironic that this study was released less than 2 months before Californians were to vote to label GMO’s in our food. Totally intentional if you ask me. I could just hear people saying to themselves, “Certainly if prestigious Stanford University, an unbiased institution of learning found that pesticides were not harmful, then why should I believe all this new hogwash about GMOs being harmful?

  19. I think it would be advisable to list those foods that pesticides, herbicides, fungicides do NOT wash off easily from – like strawberries……

  20. It does make you wonder? The government just doesn’t want to admit how wrong they have been with gmo crops and pushing an unsustainable way of farming. I do want to point out, that just because a group of people like Conventional Pediatricians believe “one” thing that is wrong doesn’t make them wrong about everything. I am trying to research the vaccine topic myself, but find both sides equally turning a blind eye to certain “problems” in their arguments. I think it might be possible that the idea of vaccines are not 100% bad, but perhaps we just don’t know enough about how the body works yet, or which vaccines we really need. Should we experiment on people? Never- we need to push more studies and make the government work for us. We do have a pretty corrupt system, but does that mean everything in the system is bad? How do we divide truth from fiction, when a lot of people are just pushing their own agenda? I will assume that whoever created vaccines was trying to help humanity not hurt it. Now, that doesn’t mean the whole process hasn’t become high-jacked by the government and drug companies (really trusting neither) it still doesn’t mean that everything they promote is bad. There are good things that come from conventional medicine and the government(willing to admit less good than bad) I feel the people pushing against the conventional forget that there are good things that happen too, and those should be notified and praised.
    I think we need to remember that we are human, our understanding is limited, and we are still learning new information. We should help others with the information that we know, but not communicate that we “know” everything. A lot of published literature I read seems more stemmed in theory than fact, and I think we need to be cautious about doing the same thing the “other side” does when it comes to presenting our “case”.

  21. Yes local is good and organic is even better.
    Local which doesn t use pesticides but is usually not organic because the organic certification cost a lot in Europe.
    Now when you wash produce you only remove surface bad stuff but you can t remove the pesticides,fungicides… Which penetrate the skin of the produce. So green leaves are always organic by us.

  22. Nicole Belsky Moore via Facebook November 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Joan, million of Americans are clearly idiots (hehe) or maybe its just that America makes it impossible for many families to afford REAL food. They are stuck buying poison and on top being lied to about it. It’s a disgrace…it must be changed.

  23. Joan Priest via Facebook November 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Hmmmm..should I eat food sprayed with POISON or food NOT sprayed with POISON??
    Do they think we are IDIOTS??

  24. From what I have heard, Monsanto is connected to these “studies.”

    It doesn’t matter what these organizations say…I’m not buying organic food because it is more nutritious or because it tastes better than conventionally grown foods. I buy it because I don’t want my family eating pesticides. Period. And I will continue buying it.

  25. We are very fortunate to have dozens of year-round farmers markets by our house, so we can eat local as much as possible, but I do have to agree with Texmex, there are some foods where we feel we should always aim for organic. Leafy greens, peaches, celery, berries, and any fruit or veggie on the “dirty dozen” list

  26. I too rolled my eyes when the news recently said organic was no better. I’ll keep buying as much organic (or local) as I can afford. :-)

  27. They waste their time with all these studies. They should be doing research on the pesticide/GMO/poison-laden food they try to pass off on us instead of organic food grown the way it is supposed to be grown. I don’t understand why organics undergo the ‘burden’ of a label. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Oh that’s right……power and money :(

  28. The AAP also gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from Pharmaceutical companies every year ( I wouldn’t doubt from companies like Monsanto that produce drugs and pesticides that are used in conventional crop growing). They can’t very well throw their funders under the bus and keep getting money can they!?

  29. If you use white vinegar it is made of GMO corn, if you use “cheap” white vinegar it is full of petro- I use only organic white vinegar in my food…just wanted to share my thoughts have a good day..

  30. I was able to see the video. I do the same thing with my produce, i buy local stuff and make sure to use the vinegar wash.I picked up some organic produce and it was from New Zealand!! Are you kidding me! Plus the organic peppers were pretty expensive, it was 2.59 for an organic pepper.I can get local peppers for 88 cents.Trader joes does have local organic peppers, but your still paying 4 bucks for 3 peppers. Not bad.

  31. My only problem with local anything around here is that NONE of the farmers believe in organic, organic methods or grassfed-finished. There is soooo much farm land where I am and it makes me soooo sad. I choose not to buy the local produce because they all admit to using pesticides so instead I go to Mom Organic Market or Whole Foods. Occasionally I’ll buy something thats organic from California (I live in MD) but those grocery stores are very good at getting local organic produce(from either MD or PA). So in the case of the local farmer that uses pesticides or getting organic produce from California you think I should go local? I just dont see how its smart to risk the pesticide ingestion at all.

    • @Alexis, I think I’d buy the organic. There are some conventional farmers where I live who are very conscientious about their pesticide use and they don’t use much and are careful where they spray it. It sounds like your farmers don’t care. If that’s that case, get the stuff from California. Can you start your own small garden?

      • Yes we actually didnt think about doing it until this past summer and we live in a townhouse but once spring starts we’re going to get vertical gardens and hang on our fence in the backyard. We’ve been doing research this whole time on how to garden and what natural things we can use to ward off bugs. Thanks for the replies guys!

        • Hi Alexis,

          What general area of MD are you in? I’m still in the process of making the switch to local organic or essentailly organic without being certified but I have found some good sources so far. I’m in Harford county, MD. I’d be happy to share some ideas if we’re in the same area and that would be helpful to you.

          • Hey Mandie I live in Calvert County…southern MD. And yes I’d love to hear of any places that you know of that have local, organic produce. Sally Fallons farm (the author of Nourishing Traditions and president of the WAPF) is about 15-20 minutes away from me in Brandywine so I have that for meat, cheese and eggs but thats limited. They did however say they planned on starting a greenhouse soon and having baked goods so that’d be pretty awesome.

Leave a Comment

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!