Organic vs. Conventional Produce Smack Down! (Poll)

by | Aug 3, 2009
Rosa Bianca Eggplant

Organic Vegetables

There has been a lot of back and forth trash talking between fans of organic and fans of conventional produce ever since a new review study by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reported no nutritional superiority for organics. Let’s take a look at some of the opposing arguments and have a vote.

Since the publication of the review last week I have been collecting the opinions of various experts around the internet.

A few fabulous articles are worth noting:

Key criticisms of the FSA report:

  1. The nutrient analysis is questionable and incomplete.
  2. Findings contradict conclusions of other scientists.
  3. Report does not account for the presence of toxins and contaminants.
  4. Conflicts of interest may exist among the investigators of the report and agribusiness.

So what do you think?

Do you believe the review? Think it’s a flawed piece of industry propaganda? Still undecided? How will this study affect your buying habits?

Do you even think about these things before making food purchases?

Vote in the poll and leave additional thoughts in the comments.

[poll id=”4″]

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20 Responses to “Organic vs. Conventional Produce Smack Down! (Poll)”

  1. Sudeep says:

    Hey ,
    Just to add , I think so my option in the poll is neither any which you said . i might go for just locally grown …. Does not matter if it was grown with some fertilizer or completely organic … Local food supplies would be my choice .
    Regards
    Sudeep

    • Darya Pino says:

      Thanks for your comment Sudeep. I intended for locavores to fall under the “Anything but industrial food” umbrella, since it includes local food but also fair trade and other options that don’t make it too exclusionary. Very few people are true locavores…chocolate is just too good!

  2. Hanlie says:

    I think the FSA totally missed the point.

    What is rather telling is that these findings made such a media splash… call me a conspiracy nut, but that tells me there’s an economic agenda behind this all.

  3. julie says:

    In my first semester of chemistry lab, we tested an organic vs conventional orange for Vitamin C, and the organic had 30% more. Of course, a sample of two doesn’t a study make, plus they are from different farms, etc. I would say about half the produce I eat is not organically certified, but is quite clean anyway.

  4. doug says:

    Conventional gets my vote because I consider pesticides to be a “nutrient.” Ain’t no aphids gonna feed on my liver!

  5. Matt Shook says:

    I’d fight to the bitter end to keep my local organic produce! 😉

    When I first saw the report of the “study” on the yahoo homepage, my first gut feeling was that it was an agribusiness-backed study. Once I read the study was performed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, I pretty much wrote it off. I can’t really ever see a study from an school based on “Hygiene and Tropical Medicine” siding for unadulterated organic produce…they’d lose their funding (probably from a large chemical/pharmaceutical company).

  6. Amy says:

    Ditto on the rest of the cynics’ comments.
    Follow the money.

    That said, I’d simply prefer no chemicals (most importantly, pesticides,) in/on my food.

  7. Darya Pino says:

    Hi Everyone. A new article came out in New Scientist today that explains why the question of nutrition is beside the point when discussing organic vs conventional.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17547-why-food-is-about-more-than-nutrition.html

  8. Put me down for organic!

  9. Terry says:

    it’s propaganda but it’s also true. it’s propaganda because the big companies are putting so much effort into making everyone believe there isn’t any nutritional difference, which there isn’t much. but everyone needs to see the bigger picture that these big companies need to stop using pesticides all together. it’s not all about the nutritional info.

  10. While I firmly believe that organic is better, I am more convinced that locally grown is better than store bought, organic or not. Much of what we get at the grocery was picked prior to being ripe, and has been gassed or otherwise manipulated to make it edible. Of course, something picked out of your own garden is better than something just grown locally, but that isn’t always possible.

  11. Scott says:

    IMHO this isn’t an argument about organic or non-organic, its about responsible agriculture, hiding behind the facade of the organic issue. Industrial food cares only about how big their profit margin is, and obviously the bigger the better, no matter what the casualties are; Organic growers also care about their bottom-line, but they also usually have a ‘philosophy’ or mission-statement, and a commitment to sustainability. This is the difference that really makes buying anything from the industrial food chain downright barbaric and irresponsible. Its time for us real-live humans that care about our future and our quality of life to vote with our spoons and forks and to FIGHT BACK!!!!!!

  12. I always question these kinds of studies. For me personally, when I can get it I purchase organic. Not only for the nutrient value, but also for the way it is grown and harvested.

  13. Lauren says:

    In Australia, almost all organic food comes with a hefty price tag; this can be up to twice as much as the conventional produce equivalent. Unfortunately the majority of Australia’s population cannot afford to buy organic produce as part of their everyday living, including myself. Being a Dietetics student, I desire fresh produce all the time. Unfortunately the price tag is the difference between me eating conventional fresh produce every day or organic fresh produce only 1/2 the time, so in most cases I will choose conventional produce.

    I believe there is more benefit in eating fresh produce 100% of the time rather than only 50% of the time, regardless of whether it is organic or not.

  14. Matt Shook says:

    It’s a landslide…organic produce FTW!

  15. dragonfly says:

    What Lauren said about organic food being expensive in Australia. I am a student, and get my produce from a farmers market or green grocers where possible. The green grocers stock only farm fresh from mostly no pesticide outfits and I get organic if it is the same price which it is sometimes. I still wash it, but it still makes sense economically not to buy “industrial” because it is fresher than supermarket stuff. Other stuff is the same price for organic, I get my legumes and pulses (a huge staple for me) from the local wholefood place in bulk, and that is only available in organic, but the supermarket stocks 2 types of lentils if you are lucky and usually no beans except for those in a can so I don’t bother looking there anymore.
    I got hugely turned off industrial when a friend who has Crohn’s told me about 5 years ago about the difference in her symptoms just by swapping supermarket produce for farmers market produce. Love your site btw.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Thanks for the Aussie info! Always interesting to hear how things are done elsewhere. Glad to hear you’ve found a way to cut way down on industrial foods.

  16. matthew says:

    I totally agree that nutrition shouldn’t be the singular focus of the organics argument. Organic agriculture is just as much about minimizing the impacts of pesticides and fertilizers on human health and the environment, reducing the amount of fossil fuel that goes into producing each calorie of food, and buffering small farmers from over-dependence on corporate commodities markets.

    p.s. Just discovered your blog; great stuff! Sadly, its summer of no tomatoes here in Vermont — awful blight this year 🙁

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