Some of you might have read about the findings that suggest no nutritional edge in organic food according to a recent study at Stanford University. This study has been widely publicized and among the study findings:
• There were no significant differences in the vitamin content of organic and conventional fruits and vegetables. The studies looked specifically at vitamins A, C and E.
• Detectable pesticide residue was found in 7% of organic produce and 38% of conventional produce. As to how pesticides could be in organic product that must be grown without them by law, Smith-Spangler said it could either be long-lasting, now-banned pesticides in the soil or drift from nearby fields.
• Both organic and conventional foods were at similar risk for bacterial contamination.
We received our copy of WHOLESOME GARDENING this week. And not surprisingly a study that claims “no difference between conventional and organic” drew some attention within these pages. So, we decided to opine and without a doubt our sentiments align with the WHOLESOME GARDENING point of view. And here is why.
In our opinion, the Stanford University study is misleading because it fails to tell the whole story. Its underlying aim is to help us as food consumers make informed choices. However, we cannot draw any conclusions from this study. The main reason is because we cannot gain any real understanding as to which vegetable (organic or conventional) is better based only on a measure of a few vitamins (assuming that these study results are correct).
How should we make this choice? In a sustainable, organically-grown nutshell: Use a Holistic approach and look at the big picture. It is clear to us, that sustainable farming is the better choice when people and the environment are viewed as a whole and complete system. It is the sustainable farmer that believes that “organic farming and gardening restores and maintains the health of the soil, water and environment, and further sustains the health of humans, plants and animals.” And to us that is the clearly a better choice.
 Note: WHOLESOME GARDENING is a bimonthly magazine for persevering, gathering and sharing knowledge of sustainable living. And it is published right here in Potter County, Pennsylvania! WHOLESOME GARDENING, 569 Schoolhouse Rd., Genesee, Pennsylvania, 16923