Eva Says

Where has all the common sense gone…?

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Lies, damned lies, and statistics

February 19th, 2011 · No Comments · DUH, Health and Environment, Welcome

Organic vs. Non-Organic is both a constant battle and a constant puzzle.

Everyone wonders at some moment if “maybe, just maybe, organic might be better for me”.

Sadly enough statistics were used recently to prove there is no difference. An article that appeared on Yahoo, written by Emily Sohn and posted at Discovery News boldly compared Organic and Non Organic foods and declared that “Organic is not more nutritious”, and went on to say not more healthful. No reason to buy organic they stated. Headline was “Organic Veggies Not More Nutritious” with a tag line of “Growing organic vegetables may be better for the environment, but eating them may not necessarily be more healthful”. Huh??

The headline makes sense, groups are constantly arguing about the nutrition level of chemically treated and organic foods … but to say that they “may not necessarily be more healthful” is just plain stupid. Did Emily Sohn do that to get attention or is it Discovery that is lying to get market share? What about pesticide, chemical fertilizer, chemical herbicide, growth hormone, genetic modification, medication or antibiotics. Healthful?

Ironically, deeper in the article it quotes the source of the news, Pia Knuthsen, a senior research scientist at the Danish National Food Institute’s department of food chemistry, based at the University of Copenhagen, as saying “Still, there are many good reasons for the consumer to select organic food products, including absence of pesticide residues in foods, animal welfare, and environmental protections.”

If you can imagine the writers like Sohn, and scientists who try to trick people either with misleading statistics or by companies like Discovery doing headline marketing to the people that don’t have time to read the article. A quick glance and you “know” that t first sight, for those, who don’t think about it, would mean that why to bother paying for organic then? The whole article was about comparing the nutrients in organic and non organic food.

When the reality is that we DO NOT buy organic food for more nutrition, we DO buy it for LESS pesticides, and LESS chemicals. It is a shame that we have to pay so much more for them, but if people would only buy those then big conglomerate farms wouldn’t have the choice anymore, and the prices would come down.

It just makes me sick when the government, the USDA comes out with their little ideas of how much poison is ok to have in each food item. Sure, maybe it’s ok to have a certain level of poison in a fish, or in a vegetable if you have only one of them, and you only have a little bit at once, or in a day. What if you didn’t read all their guidance, and you eat more than they suggest? What if you ate for breakfast, and lunch and dinner stuff that had the same poison in them, so it’s all added up??? Did they ever think about that when they suggested the poison levels in food? Why didn’t they just say no to poison in food? Why? Doesn’t the USDA work for the People? Don’t they receive the majority of their wages and benefits from the taxes of the People? Do they have conscience?

Here there are some links:
The Mayo Clinic’s opinion about organic food and advice which is pretty good except for the first paragraph, which goes back to my original argument: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255/NSECTIONGROUP=2

Here’s some pesticides on your veggies for your pleasure:

Here is Sohn’s article and horribly inaccurate line.
Discovery News Misleading Headlines

Discovery and Sohn should post a correction and an apology! I’ll let you know if I get one.

By the way, the title is a quote used by Mark Twain and attributed by him to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881): “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” No one has been able to find it in any of Disraeli’s memoirs.

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