Study concludes organic food may not be any healthier for you

New study finds little evidence that organic food is much healthier

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Organic food sales make up more than four percent of all retail food sales. Organic food sales make up more than four percent of all retail food sales.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's hard to miss when shopping for food that buying organic is a growing trend. Organic food sales make up more than four percent of all retail food sales, but why?

Does the higher cost mean ultimately better health? A new Stanford University study into organic food is surprising some experts.

Gordon Griffith has been buying organic for 10 years. He says the reason is for better health, for him and the environment.

"The more pesticides that are used, the more resistant pests are. Super bugs are harder to control," Griffith said.

Doctors at Stanford University researched the difference between organic and non organic foods. They found little evidence that going organic is better for a person's health.

Farmer and Farm Fresh Produce owner Rodney Reagan wasn't surprised by the study's conclusion.

"I would not say that organic is any safer than anything that is locally grown with someone who's taken care of what they've got," Reagan said.

Organic foods are produced without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers or routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones.

The study says eating organic fruits and vegetables can lower exposure to pesticides, but the amount in conventionally grown produce was within safety limits.

Also the nutritional values are the same. However, Griffith has some doubts about the findings. "Even though there are studies out there, I still have concerns about what food is better," he said.

The study says the chance of bacterial contamination is equal between organic and non organic foods. But germs in the non organic meats had a 33 percent higher risk of being resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Griffith says he tries to avoid those type of meats by either buying organic or getting to know the local farmers.

"If we get to know who we are buying the meat from, we get to know what practices they are using just by kind of interviewing them so even though they may not be certified organic we understand how they are producing their product," Griffith said.

Despite the study, Griffith says he'll continue his habit of buying organic foods because it's better for the environment.

One farmer who spoke with 6 News believes organic and non organic are equally healthy for a person, but he says no matter where you get your produce, even if you grow it yourself, you must wash every piece.

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