The Stanford Study: Two Sides to Every Coin

A recent longitudinal review of available research by Stanford University concluded that “organic produce and meat are no more nutritious than conventionally raised products.”

As we have always said, we don’t “do organic” just for the nutritional value (although this sourced article and this op-ed piece both offer further context to the Stanford study.) We “do organic” primarily because:

  1. We are trying to remember ourselves, and teach others, that you can have healthy, nutritious food that doesn’t come from a grocery store.
  2. We are concerned about the effects of monoculturalism on our food supply, as demonstrated by the current drought that is decimating our corn and soy harvests in the midwest.
  3. We are concerned about the effects of genetic manipulation, which even Monsanto has admitted may prove to be more of a debacle than a miracle.

I eat processed foods virtually every day; “organic” is not a new religion to me, and as my daughter repeatedly reminds me, the word has very little meaning these days anyway (thanks primarily to the big agribusinesses, who lobbied the government to reduce the “certified organic” requirements to such an extent that they all but eliminated the meaning of the word.)

The other thing I would point out is that the research may still be fairly close to the mark if, in fact, people were eating fresh peaches, not canned; fresh cuts of meat rather than processed meat-like products; and if they were eating fruits and vegetables within 24-48 hours of harvesting (which is hard to do if, say, you live in Pennsylvania and your strawberries come from California.) Obviously, the overall impact on the American diet, and the cause of much of our obesity epidemic, is not the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats – regardless of the production method. The problem is that we consume vast quanitities of highly processed “food like substances” almost all of which contain some amount of corn product.

When the corn is gone (as it may be by the end of this year) what will we eat? When that new strain of smut comes along that wipes out the only genetic strain of corn we have left, or when that new fungus appears that wipes out our highly manipulated hybrid soy crop, what then?

Hopefully a few of us will have some non-modified, open pollinated seeds left, and enough knowledge to produce a crop from them.



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