No evidence to support 'organic is best'

Aug 07, 2008

New research in the latest issue of the Society of Chemical Industry's (SCI) Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture shows there is no evidence to support the argument that organic food is better than food grown with the use of pesticides and chemicals

Many people pay more than a third more for organic food in the belief that it has more nutritional content than food grown with pesticides and chemicals.

But the research by Dr Susanne Bügel and colleagues from the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen, shows there is no clear evidence to back this up.

In the first study ever to look at retention of minerals and trace elements, animals were fed a diet consisting of crops grown using three different cultivation methods in two seasons.

The study looked at the following crops – carrots, kale, mature peas, apples and potatoes – staple ingredients that can be found in most families' shopping list.

The first cultivation method consisted of growing the vegetables on soil which had a low input of nutrients using animal manure and no pesticides except for one organically approved product on kale only.

The second method involved applying a low input of nutrients using animal manure, combined with use of pesticides, as much as allowed by regulation.

Finally, the third method comprised a combination of a high input of nutrients through mineral fertilisers and pesticides as legally allowed.

The crops were grown on the same or similar soil on adjacent fields at the same time and so experienced the same weather conditions. All were harvested and treated at the same time. In the case of the organically grown vegetables, all were grown on established organic soil.

After harvest, results showed that there were no differences in the levels of major and trace contents in the fruit and vegetables grown using the three different methods.

Produce from the organically and conventionally grown crops were then fed to animals over a two year period and intake and excretion of various minerals and trace elements were measured. Once again, the results showed there was no difference in retention of the elements regardless of how the crops were grown.

Dr Bügel says: 'No systematic differences between cultivation systems representing organic and conventional production methods were found across the five crops so the study does not support the belief that organically grown foodstuffs generally contain more major and trace elements than conventionally grown foodstuffs.'

Dr Alan Baylis, honorary secretary of SCI's Bioresources Group, adds: 'Modern crop protection chemicals to control weeds, pests and diseases are extensively tested and stringently regulated, and once in the soil, mineral nutrients from natural or artificial fertilisers are chemically identical. Organic crops are often lower yielding and eating them is a lifestyle choice for those who can afford it.'

Source: Society of Chemical Industry

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ErickS
4.2 / 5 (13) Aug 07, 2008
Gee, what an unexpected outcome... NOT.

This research is utterly worthless since it doesn't tackle the core issues why people buy organic. It's not about the nutrients in the food why people buy organic. It's the risk of pesticide contamination.
drel
3.4 / 5 (13) Aug 07, 2008
In short order we would have little to no crops if all pesticides were eliminated. For many (if not all) crops, the use of pesticides by the "non-organic" farmers is the only thing that saves the organic farmers crops and allows them to have a successful harvest. It is unfortunate that the higher prices lead to better profits for the organic growers, and not to the ones who bear the cost make it all possible (i.e. the ones actually applying the pesticides).
gopher65
4 / 5 (10) Aug 07, 2008
Exactly drel. It is like Vaccines. If a certain percentage of the population is vaccinated, then it protects the entire population. Vaccination does NOT protect an individual person, but rather the group as a whole. The idea behind it is to stop the exponential spread of a disease. Insects, fungus, and certain weeds are the same way. If you "vaccinate" a certain percentage of crops with them, it stops things like locust swarms from ever forming, thus protecting all of the "unvaccinated" organic crops as well.
googleplex
2.6 / 5 (10) Aug 07, 2008
Drel,
Please double check your data source.
Organic farmers do use pesticides.
Data source:
http://www.ocf.be...ext.html
If you are genuinely worried about food production efficiency then you should be pushing for vegetarian diets. It takes > 10 x the agricultural land and energy to produce meat compared with grain/veg.
Decaf
2.8 / 5 (8) Aug 07, 2008
We created our pest problem by breeding crops that have no defense mechanisms. It makes it easier to harvest large amounts, but leaves an enormous food cache for animals that would have been hard pressed to breed in large numbers without it. Now we use pesticides to fix the problem rather than change the kinds of food we grow.

Considering the health problems that continually crop up with various food colorings, is it a surprise that there is a market for people who don't want to ingest poison? Cost aside, I'm surprised that doesn't represent the majority.
Tekito
3.3 / 5 (6) Aug 07, 2008
Agree with ErickS. This study makes no sense to me. The whole point of organic foods is that they supposedly contain less pesticides. It has nothing to do with greater nutritional value. That at least is always what I have heard.

drel
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 07, 2008
If you are genuinely worried about food production efficiency then you should be pushing for vegetarian diets. It takes > 10 x the agricultural land and energy to produce meat compared with grain/veg.


No, I am not at all worried about food production efficiency and all vegetarian diets. The world is already too populated IMHO. I like to think of the world as I do my home. Sure, I might be able to fit 300 people inside my house, but why would I want to? Sure I could house 9 people, it would be cramped, but we could manage. Right now it's just me and my wife, and it feels a bit empty so one more would be alright. But what is the "right" number of people? I think everyone has to decide for themselves when it come to their home, but as for the planet why populate it to its capacity for food production? Should we have a world population of 300 billion? or only 9 billion? How about 1 Billion? What's the right number? Since we cannot seam to agree on this, I suspect we will continue down our current path.

We always assume someone else, some future generation will fix everything, solve all the problems, etc. I'm more of a pessimist. We are too short sighted. We need a true long term goal and not the BS answer that god said "go forth and reproduce!" and "Rapture will come and we will all live forever in heaven!" Let's envision an ideal existence and work towards it instead of marching blindly forward towards more stuff, more people, more tech, more, more, more...

sorry, rant over...
p1ll
3.5 / 5 (6) Aug 07, 2008
the problem is that the world's poorest, least educated people have the most babies. How is it possible to fix that problem? genocide? Western europe, america, and the world's elite put career over family and are steadily losing population. Why do you think there are so many immigrants in western countries? answer: because we don't have enough children. Immigrants fill the void of young workers and help pay the pensions of an ever growing retired population. I would like to know how we as a society can curb population growth. There is no way to curb population growth.
Glis
3.8 / 5 (9) Aug 07, 2008
Umm... this article was from the Society of Chemical Industries.

I'm sure they aren't going to publish an article saying they are destroying our intestines and killing the bees.

I used some 'pet safe' weed killer yesterday. Granted I used a LOT of it, but it feels like I have the flu today, and I can still smell it, even after two showers. There's no ingredients on the bottle, and NO HEALTH WARNINGS. WTF?

Chemistry has done for agriculture, but we need to be painfully careful on what we allow in our foods. They rushed the GM soy to the market and it's killing all the bees and giving us colon cancer, yummy!
D666
4.7 / 5 (12) Aug 07, 2008
the problem is that the world's poorest, least educated people have the most babies. How is it possible to fix that problem?

There are specific reasons why poor populations have lots of children. These can be fixed, or at least worked on. They include:

1) You need to have 10 children so that you can end up with 5, because of mortality rates.
2) you need to have 5 viable children minimum because you need extra hands to work the farm.
3) you need to have lots of children because they are your retirement plan.

As the economy and standard of living improve, lots of children become less of an asset and more of a liability, so people have fewer.

This is a simplification, but it probably describes 80% of the problem.
x646d63
3.8 / 5 (8) Aug 07, 2008
The classic straw man. Make a fake argument and then shoot it down with "facts."

Almost no one argues that conventional crops have less nutrients as a result of herbicides and pesticides.

The chemical companies are trying to distract the public from knowing that sustainable farming methods can product more nutrient-rich foods than conventional methods.

Of course they're also intentionally ignoring the dead zones in the ocean their chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are creating, and the untold millions of cancer patients they've created for the medical industry. But then who's perfect?
pubwvj
4.1 / 5 (7) Aug 07, 2008
Given the source of this article it's a no brainer what their bias is. They want people to buy their chemicals. It's that simple. This isn't unbiased research.

The solution is to vote with our wallets. They can eat the herbicide and pesticide residues if they like. I prefer not to.
Soylent
4.6 / 5 (5) Aug 07, 2008
If you are genuinely worried about food production efficiency then you should be pushing for vegetarian diets.


What if the reason I'm worried about food production efficiency is that the third world won't be able to enjoy a varied and healthy diet that includes some moderate amounts of animal products?

The solution is to vote with our wallets. They can eat the herbicide and pesticide residues if they like. I prefer not to.


You did know organic crops use pesticides right? Copper sulfate, sulfur, nicotine sulfate, neem oil and other toxic shit; no thank you, I'll take my chance with trace amounts of organophosphates.
Soylent
3.8 / 5 (6) Aug 07, 2008
The chemical companies are trying to distract the public from knowing that sustainable farming methods can product more nutrient-rich foods than conventional methods.


Organic farming is not and was never about sustainability. It is an arbitrary set of edicts disallowing the use of safe and effective practices on the grounds that they are "unnatural".

It uses limited resources like sulfur, lime, bat guano, potash and fossil fuels. It uses more land. It's debatable whether it even uses less energy. It relies on manure from low-yield cattle and limited guano supplies; it can only do this because it's such a vanishingly small fraction of the food supply.

Of course they're also intentionally ignoring the dead zones in the ocean their chemical fertilizers...


This is not an inherent fault of conventional farming; if you're willing to take a hit to yields it's just a matter of applying less fertilizer and using better land managing policies.

...herbicides and pesticides...


Evidence that it has anything to do with the dead zones? Evidence that "organic" pesticides are any better?

...and the untold millions of cancer patients they've created for the medical industry.


Which cancer cases would those be?
Mayday
4 / 5 (5) Aug 07, 2008
Assuming that the study is good (I'm not qualified to tell), I do think that this information is important. I certainly assumed that the shiney chemo-tomato the size of a cantaloupe had less nutritional value than the six organo-tomatoes (same total weight) with the yellow spots n' natural bruises. And I do think the point about the chemical make-up of what the plant absorbs and processes is a fair one.

The plant processes the soil chemicals the same with the same outcome no matter the brand name on the chemical (Mother Nature(r) vs Monsanto(r)). That makes sense to me.

So does it come down to this? If you're too lazy to wash your food before you stuff your face with it -- then you'd be better to buy organics. But if you do wash your vegetables then it really matters very little?

Sounds like this is the case.
E_L_Earnhardt
1 / 5 (2) Aug 07, 2008
In working on cancer causes I found radiated seed
radioactive fertilizer, hormone injected beef and pork - ALL of which accelerate mitosis! Some organisms die before die before cancer develops.
some die after!
DoctorKnowledge
3 / 5 (3) Aug 07, 2008
I'm puzzled about the results. I recently found out that the FDA and USDA do not require fertilizer companies to make full disclosure of ingredients on their packaging! To see it, one has to go to the company web sites (I think). And what's ACTUALLY in most fertilizer is terrifying -- lots of metals, etc. Are plants able to filter all that out? And only take the good stuff? Surely not.
Mayday
3 / 5 (2) Aug 08, 2008
So, DoctorK, are you suggesting I might be getting more nutrition from my chemo-tomato?
:-D
Tara21
3.3 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2008
Wha??? It's the chemicals, stupid. When people choose to buy organic it isn't b/c they think there's more vit/minerals, it's b/c they don't want to eat pesticides.

Regardless of whether their concern is legit, this 'study' and the resultant cnn-friendly headlines of 'Organic Not Better!' TOTALLY side-steps this issue.
Lord_jag
4.8 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2008
How about if someone compare the organic food and non-organic food to the food I grow in my backyard. You know... food that is actually allowed to ripen before it is picked?

Have you ever actually tasted a ripe tomoatoe?

Or a ripe peapod?

Or a ripe zuchinni?

OR anything that wasn't picked months before it was ripe and shipped to you while it starts to rot? The flavor difference is incredible. I can only guess the nutrients are changing too.
PaulLove
5 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2008
Lord Jag has a point, at least originallly the local organic farms raised without not only the chemical processes but without the same harvesting practices. No chemicals used pick when ripe and sell. So a big part of the flavor and nutrients comes from the fact the fruits and vegies actually were allowed to finish development.

The problem comes from the fact that "Organic" has become big business so you first had people who simpley labeled their crops orgainic. This causes standards to be set that discribed what you had to do to be labled organic. This lead to people finding alternatives that were just as bad simply not prohibited in the description for the organic lable. Now you are starting to see large scale organic farms using the same practices for harvesting and shipping :(

Two weeks ago at my local farmers market there was a new face so I stopped to talk with him. The mellons he was selling were from Alabama some 1700 miles away. Know where your food comes from and how it was raised make your choices from there. Should for some reason you have never actually had fruits and veggies freshly picked consider yourself lucky as it makes it easier to eat the sludge from the can.
googleplex
4.7 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2008
IMHO the point is that people are willing to pay for better food. Is organic food better...well I think it tries to be. It is not perfect.
Synthetic food production is the answer. Natural does not mean cancer free. I foresee that the organic movement is a stepping stone to people becoming aware that when they ingest carcinogens it can cause cancer.
With 50% cancer rate, 1 person dying of it every minute in the US clearly we have a problem. Some people will throw their hands in the air and say everything gives you cancer, therefore I can't do anything. Denial is a beautiful thing.
However at some point the cancer is caused by something. Probably a carcinogen or virus that somebody ate, drank, breathed, smeared on themselves etc.
This is hard to grasp. Firstly the killer is invisible and not any single obvious thing like a mad gunman or drunk driver. It is like death by a thousand paper cuts. One piece of paper can't hurt you. But keep repeating it and at some point it has an effect.
The other factor is that today medical science treats people as being the same. The future of medicine is customized to the individual.
x646d63
5 / 5 (6) Aug 08, 2008
... sustainable farming methods can produce more nutrient-rich foods than conventional methods.


Organic farming is not and was never about sustainability. It is an arbitrary set of edicts disallowing the use of safe and effective practices on the grounds that they are "unnatural".


I know, although sustainable methods are more likely to be used by small organic farmers these days.

My point is that this is a two-pronged strawman "study" to weaken the argument that organic foods are more healthy (by the lack of chemical herb/pesticides), and to weaken the argument that sustainable farming methods (not factory farms) produce foods richer in nutrient value.

This study is simply attempting to muddy the waters because nobody makes the argument they are trying to shoot down.

...dead zone...


This is not an inherent fault of conventional farming; if you're willing to take a hit to yields it's just a matter of applying less fertilizer and using better land managing policies.


The dead zone (in the Gulf) is the direct result of nutrient-rich fresh water floating above the salt water causing algae blooms to shut down oxygen integration into deeper water. This nutrient rich water is from fertilizer used by factory farms.

...herbicides and pesticides...

Evidence that it has anything to do with the dead zones? Evidence that "organic" pesticides are any better?


Gee, chemicals intended to kill plants and animals actually killing plants and animals? No, I can't think of any link. But no, I will not provide any citations.

...and the untold millions of cancer patients they've created for the medical industry.


Which cancer cases would those be?


Well, glyophosphate has been linked to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Phenoxy herbicides and chlorophenols have shown increased soft-tissue sarcomas and imply predisposition to Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Should I talk about DDT? Pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, ...? DDT is no longer used in North America, but we use 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T to grow food for livestock. 2,4,5-T contains dioxin--perhaps the most toxic chemical on the planet. Dioxin causes birth defects, miscarriages and death at one part per trillion.

My mother grew up on a farm where it was common practice to run behind the DDT truck and play in the mist because it was cool. They (and their parents who drove the truck) were told by the chemical makers it was a perfectly safe practice. She survived cancer at 29, another bout of cancer in her 50s and is now battling breast cancer. But then she also grew up near Hanford, WA, so maybe it wasn't the DDT or other herbicides and pesticides and it was the "wind tests" Hanford did releasing radiation to track it. But then that only causes thyroid problems (which she's been taking meds for for over 30 years.)

Keep spraying. We're all safe.
gopher65
3 / 5 (2) Aug 08, 2008
heh, x646d63, I don't think anyone is claiming that pesticides are safe, or that you should drink them or bathe in them. That's just stupid, and anyone who does that deserves whatever they get (children not withstanding of course, cause children don't know any better). Pesticides are POISON. That's the whole idea. They kill things. But if you only apply the pesticide topically, then either one of two things happens: either it is absorbed into the plant, or it isn't. If it isn't, then you can wash it off before you eat it, with no harm and no foul. If it is absorbed, then you can't, and you'll be ingesting that poison. That isn't good.

THAT is the argument for/against pesticide use: whether or not significant amounts get absorbed into the plant when they are topically applied. It has nothing to do with idiots who drink the stuff, or breath it in. That's a death sentence. That's like playing with matches, burning your house down, and then blaming the match making company.
x646d63
5 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2008
heh, x646d63, I don't think anyone is claiming that pesticides are safe


The manufacturers claim they are safe.

that you should drink them or bathe in them.


which is exactly what my mother was told as a child: safe to dance in the mist.

That's just stupid, and anyone who does that deserves whatever they get (children not withstanding of course, cause children don't know any better).


Adults incapable or unwilling to do their own research are really no better off than children in this sense. If they are told by the maker of the product it's safe are they not supposed to believe it? Isn't that the whole foundation of tort lawsuits?

Pesticides are POISON. That's the whole idea.
They kill things.


Which makes little sense to apply them to food we eat and the environment in which we live.

But if you only apply the pesticide topically, then either one of two things happens: either it is absorbed into the plant, or it isn't. If it isn't, then you can wash it off before you eat it, with no harm and no foul.


You cannot wash it off. In 1996 the FDA funded a study that showed of 530 sample (conventional) apples, 98% had herbicide residue (29 different types) after washing.

THAT is the argument for/against pesticide use...


That's not my argument. My argument is that of the 9 billion tons of pesticides and herbicides used in the US annually, we can assume that it will negatively affect everyone, and we cannot (even if we are educated) avoid them.

That's like playing with matches, burning your house down, and then blaming the match making company.


It's not. It's like playing with matches after being told by the match manufacturer that the ignited match will not burn your house down under any circumstances, or that if it does ignite, it will only burn a little bit--and then burning your house down. You win that lawsuit.
gopher65
2 / 5 (4) Aug 08, 2008
First off, no pesticide manufacturer would say that it is safe to "play in the mist". That's just stupid. No one but a moron would say that. If your mother was told that as a child, then she was told that by her low-intelligence relatives. Frankly, consumer stupidity isn't something that something any company can be held accountable for.

As for PESTICIDE (which are different than herbicides; we're not plants, and we're not affected by the same poisons) residue, the UK government had this to say in 2003:
About 70% of the food we eat contains no detectable residues (2000 figure). One reason for this is that the processes used to manufacture foods, such as drying and cooking, can destroy pesticides.

Note that the "detectable residues" in the remaining 30% of food (mostly raw, unprocessed stuff like carrot sticks) unusually indicates levels well below the safety limits. Washing will remove some pesticides, but not all, depending on the type of pesticide used.

Lastly, let us pretend for a moment that you are right, and that pesticides exist at dangerous levels in our environment. I've heard people who like Stevia (a sweetener) say "it has been used for hundreds of years with no noticeable ill effects". The same can be said of pesticides over the past 75 years or so. We've used HUGE amounts of pesticides, including uber dangerous stuff like DDT. If we were all going to die from it, it would have happened 50 years ago. It hasn't, so we won't. Perhaps some people will die slightly earlier than they otherwise would have (assuming that the levels of pesticides in our food and water are dangerously high), but you know what? A lot of people won't starve to death because pesticides are used. I'm willing to have a few years knocked off of my total lifespan so that I can live knowing that I'll always have enough to eat.
DoctorKnowledge
4.3 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2008
I switched to buying organic a couple years ago. (When affordable, I read a list recently where some organic items are only "economical" for the very wealthy.)

At the same time, of course, I switched from buying at regular supermarkets to "Whole Foods" (for those not in the US, they're also known as "Whole Paycheck"). The difference in food quality is quite noticeable, particularly with veggies and meat. In some cases "organic" just means "don't allow it to have any random garbage, nor sit around in a warehouse indefinitely".

On the other hand, there was a local ethnic chain I thought I was being economical buying certain items like fresh chilis. Then I happened to stick my face in a pot where some was cooking, by itself: formaldehyde smell! Then I examined their other open produce more carefully. It was in all of it. I never shop there, now.

There are people who live to 100 smoking cigars. Pesticides increase *risk* of cancer, that means many people will get lucky. As for those who are "lucky"...ha, ha. Try reading Wikipedia's article on BVO (brominated vegetable oil)...and see how lucky you feel. *#($*(* pissed off was how I felt. Yes, I know BVO isn't a pesticide...think of it this way...it has been labeled, by the same self-serving industries as FOOD. Now, of course, the long arm of research is catching up, and it's being made illegal.

The FDA doesn't have the money to study half the things they would like (I used to work in an office with an ex-FDA guy, he said they're just swamped. Years behind.) So, why wait until the FDA figures out the obvious? Take a random sampling of artificial compounds, and you're going to get a random sample of results in your body.
haf
not rated yet Aug 10, 2008
The study is so badly flawed as to be worthless. . All it focuses on is mineral and trace mineral content, and completely ignores phyto-chemical content.

Vitamin content, anti-oxidant phyto-chemical content, etc. all were ignored.
superhuman
4.5 / 5 (2) Aug 10, 2008
People buy organics not cause of better nutrient content but cause they want to limit their exposure to potentially toxic chemicals used in food manufacturing.

I am positive there are quite a few toxic substances used in food growing and processing right now which are not yet identified as harmful due to their effects appearing only after prolonged exposure or only when combined with certain other compounds or only in people with particular genetic makeup.

Thats why the less artificial chemicals (those which are not naturally present in our diets or surroundings) you ingest or use the safer you are.
Ulg
not rated yet Aug 10, 2008
Ladies and gentlemen a food dye added to oranges, to make them look more orange (not found in organic oranges)

" Gross findings at 1.0%
were marked increase of mortality, enlargement of spleens,
leukocytosis and anaemia, diarrhoea and growth depression. At 0.5%
kidneys of test rats showed more chronic congestion than those of
controls and there was some splenic enlargement. Microscopically,
spleens showed uniformly chronic congestion and less often slight
hyperplasia and increased pigmentation. Kidneys showed nephritis of
the type common in older rats with no difference among the groups
except in incidence (Bourke et al., 1956; US FDA, 1963)."

And that is widely used in a lot of products as well as other compounds that do much worse.

But to side with this article a bit- most organic food contains very high levels of MSG due to the many commonly used mass production compounds which innately contain MSG- but do not think eating non organic food is any better in that respect
x646d63
not rated yet Aug 12, 2008
most organic food contains very high levels of MSG due to the many commonly used mass production compounds which innately contain MSG


Do you have a source for this? I've never heard any such thing.

And what is a "mass production compound?"
googleplex
5 / 5 (1) Aug 13, 2008
I recall my chemistry teacher giving me a visual of benzene slipping in-between the base acids in DNA due its somewhat planar geometry and de-localized electron cloud. This causes replication errors and hence can cauase cancer. For me the visual was pivotal in changing my thinking. Would it help others to have a similar visual of pesticides?

Does anyone else see the irony in that people can't stand bugs and creepy crawlers and pay for pesticide laced foods. Only to ingest a nano scale creepy crawlers (carcinogens) that they cannot see. The irony is that the carcinogens are far worse for them than the visually un-appealing bugs/creepy crawlers.

Germo phobia is also intriguing. Disinfecting the exteria body paves the way for the really nasty bacteria to thrive (MRSA etc). Ironically they a killing countless helpful bacteria. Most bacteria are good for us.

I often think there are helpful viruses out there that no one has discovered. No one gets virus screened because they feel particularly well today! But it is highly likely there are more good viruses than bad ones due to symbiosis.
Fooch
not rated yet Aug 26, 2009
heh, x646d63, I don't think anyone is claiming that pesticides are safe, or that you should drink them or bathe in them. That's just stupid, and anyone who does that deserves whatever they get (children not withstanding of course, cause children don't know any better). Pesticides are POISON. That's the whole idea. They kill things. But if you only apply the pesticide topically, then either one of two things happens: either it is absorbed into the plant, or it isn't. If it isn't, then you can wash it off before you eat it, with no harm and no foul. If it is absorbed, then you can't, and you'll be ingesting that poison. That isn't good.

THAT is the argument for/against pesticide use: whether or not significant amounts get absorbed into the plant when they are topically applied. It has nothing to do with idiots who drink the stuff, or breath it in. That's a death sentence. That's like playing with matches, burning your house down, and then blaming the match making company.


While I'm not botanist, I can't see how pesticides sprayed on leaves of plants isn't going to be assimilated by the plant. Furthermore, it gets into the soil where micro-organisms (nitrogen fixing bacteria) are responsible for part of the uptake of nutrients. You can't remove one portion of the system and expect things to function optimally.

Pesticides are geared to kill insects, common knowledge. Well, when you kill things like beetles, slugs and other creatures which have a roll in the decomposition of materials, this further adds to the problem.

While there are studies that refute organic has no more nutrients than non organic, I would say based on the disruption in the pathways in which a plant gets it's nutrients, I can't see how one that is less than optimal will yield a higher nutrient value.

Aside from the nutrient value, I would agree with other posters who made mention that it's about avoiding toxic chemicals. If it's in the soil, it will be uptaken by the plant/fruit and hence the consumer of such plant or fruit.

Lastly, this thread is a year old, so no one at the time saw the indie movie called Food Inc. It illustrates how corrupt even the food industry is. People need to start realizing that it's all big business, and they could care less about the safety of the consumers on a longevity scale. I won't get into population control and the benefits of cancer which parallels that and the accompanying revenue it generates.

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