Stanford Study Reviews 230 Studies Concludes Organic Food NOT Healthier – BIG DEAL?

Stanford is located in the SF Bay Area, the center of the organic food movement universe!  They researched far and wide to find the health benefits of organic foods, but found none.

Last week, Stanford University released their extensive meta study of 230 studies relating to organic vs conventionally grown food.  We anxiously reviewed their findings because we respect Stanford research,  and EET Fitness thinks it’s important to make EETers and our readers aware of all the wonderful health benefits organic foods offer, so they can make the best decisions for their EET plans.

Just one problem — Stanford researchers concluded there aren’t ANY wonderful health benefits.

Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, Stanford study finds

Conclusion: The published literature (230 studies) lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria (but studies of biomarker and nutrient levels in serum, urine, breast milk, and semen in adults did not identify clinically meaningful differences).

  Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review   Annals of Internal Medicine  4 September 2012, Vol 157, No. 5

Crystal Smith-Spangler, MD, MS; Margaret L. Brandeau, PhD; Grace E. Hunter, BA; J. Clay Bavinger, BA; Maren Pearson, BS; Paul J. Eschbach; Vandana Sundaram, MPH; Hau Liu, MD, MS, MBA, MPH; Patricia Schirmer, MD; Christopher Stave, MLS; Ingram Olkin, PhD; and Dena M. Bravata, MD, MS

Will this study stop the zealots who claim organic foods are ESSENTIAL for health, and even for weight loss and fitness?  Probably not.  Instead, they will simply try to find any hole they can in Stanfords findings — which again included 230 STUDIES over an extended period of time.

But, in the weight loss, fitness and health industry, facts and research mean little to how people make eating and exercise decisions.  How do we know?  EET Fitness has presented 100’s of studies that show counting calories and required exercise create WEIGHT GAIN for virtually everyone over a 2-5 year period, in fact, we call them “Check Mark From Hell Diets”.

But, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary,  what remains the most established “proven method” for trying to lose weight in today’s culture?  Counting calories and required exercise!  Even the utter failure of these weight loss methods along with 99 million obese people and growing doesn’t stop experts from declaring these as “proven” methods nor does it stop dieters from trying and failing at them, over and over.

So, we are pretty sure Stanford’s study will be written off as somehow flawed and “no big deal” and ultimately ignored, especially by those with a financial interest in seeing organic foods thrive.

But for those who actually care about facts, Stanford has shot down the purported amazing qualities of organic foods.  However, it’s a safe bet every organic food proponent still believes their opinion is more important than Stanford’s research — just as calorie counters and exercise fanatics choose to ignore the overwhelming research to the contrary.  And THAT ignorance is a very big deal.  It creates horrible, unfounded “expert” advice that is harming people’s health, creating more obesity and preventing real solutions for the ever growing health and obesity crisis.

 Some Better Answers

So, Stanford’s research is good enough for EET — how about you?  In any case,  we’ll scratch organic foods as a “Missing Link” to weight loss, fitness and improved health, just as we can counting calories and required exercise – but what else might prove more effective?

EET reviews 9 of the 10 Missing Links we’ve discovered (NOT INCLUDING NUTRITION OR TIMING) over the last 4+ years in our next EET Webinar – Wednesday night 6:30 PM PST  We plan to preview a couple of these missing links in tomorrow’s blog post, so check back if you have TIME.



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