In The News: Organic

This week the newspapers were full of a Stanford University Study which said there was little evidence that Organic Produce was any better than Conventional Produce. Of course it created a buzz because a lot of people fear that whenever they buy organic they are really taking part in one big delusion and paying more for the privilege.

But for me the article just reminded me of what is wrong with food and nutrition information and why so many people have become paralyzed about how to eat well. Whether organic is better than conventional produce really does not begin to matter in a world where people just do not eat fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. It does not matter in a world where children can go days with a tomato slice or a leaf of lettuce from a hamburger as their only vegetable. The study showed that organic produce had a lower amount of pesticide residue than the conventional produce but even the conventional produce has barely any pesticide residue on it. The study also mentioned that the organic produce likely tasted better but is that better enough to justify the higher cost? Do the non-organic not taste almost as good and if their lower price encourage people to buy more fruits and vegetables then are we not all better off health-wise?

So much of what makes nutrition news is irrelevant to healthier eating habits. Buy fruits and vegetables from any source, except maybe a dioxin filled swamp, and just eat them!

I will pull out of the Archives my previous article on this whole “Organic” issue and re-post it on my home page.

Published by maisievanriel

Welcome to my website. My name is Maisie Vanriel and I am a Registered Dietitian. I am a graduate of The University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutritional Science and a Diploma in Food Safety from the Guelph Food Technology Centre. I realized a few years ago that some of the best times I have had in my career as a Dietitian have been those times when I was writing. For many years I was part of the Editorial Advisory Board of Diabetes Dialogue Magazine (The Canadian Diabetes Association) which afforded me the opportunity to write articles and editorials on diabetes. I contributed to the first Ontario Healthy Eating Manual and recently reviewed the lesson plans in the updated version launched this March 2012. In May of 2011, I won the Toronto Star’s MoneyVille section Next Blogger’s contest beating out 265 other contestants for the chance to write on nutrition and sensible shopping. My winning Blog was entitled: 5 things your grocery store won’t tell you. Writing is one of my favourite ways of communicating and like cooking it relaxes me; so in some ways your allowing me to communicate with you will contribute to my health and I hope in return I can contribute to your health and wellbeing. The inspiration for this website is my grandmother who lived 97 years and enjoyed excellent health for almost all of those 97 years. She believed in healing power of herbs, a plant-based diet and in paying attention to the type of fuel (food) that she put in her body. So my postings will be less about the constant stream of research and studies around what and how to eat and more about reminding us that we have always known how to eat. We just need to get back in tune with our bodies and focus on providing it with the best possible fuel, quality foods.

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