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    Buying Organic - It's Complicated...
    By Hank Campbell | October 3rd 2012 10:34 AM | 50 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

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    45-year meta-analysis of 240 science studies found that 'organic' processed food is the same in pesticides, the same in nutrition and a whole lot more expensive.

    "...there isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” said Dena Bravata, senior author of the paper and a physician at Stanford’s Center for Health Policy.

    Translation; you are a sucker financing a $29 billion industry. Basically, organic food is Big Ag.

    Meanwhile, a study in Europe found that, despite claims about being better for the environment, the organic process really only leads to slightly better soil organic matter and nutrient losses in farmland.  Those benefits are washed away by higher ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide emissions. Organic farms also had higher land use needs and greater eutrophication potential (a lot more algae so they are turning lakes into swamps) and acidification potential per product unit.

    Those are big, big negatives to offset negligible positives.

    Now the marketing machine is changing its argument to try and defuse concern among customers that they have been duped by corporations, the thing buyers claim to worry about when it comes to Big Ag. Here are a few marketing blitzes that are rationalizing why you should continue to overpay for food by tens of billions of dollars.

    The chemical cocktail is killing you

    Orrganic food has pesticides just like synthetic food, they are just pesticides 'that can be found in nature' (like strychnine), and since every study has shown they are on an alarming amount of organic food we are now told we have to worry about the super-dangerous 'cocktail' of pesticides traditional evil farmers are foisting off on us. In other words, sure, maybe that one pesticide is on organic and traditional food, but not a whole cocktail.  Is bacteria from feces included in the 'cocktail'? Nope, that is only in organic food.

    Have you read that cocktail argument before? You have, in the anti-vaccine community, who argue that though evidence shows there is no harm in vaccines, the 'cocktail' of more than one is causing autism or whatever the latest nonsense is.  Big Science Dogma is simply not seeing it.

    Pay more because you should invest in the future of food

    Organic food matters because of the investment in the future of food, says Louisa Kasdon, food editor at Stuff magazine.  This affirms the notion that the rich 1% who can afford organic food are exploiting a whole lot of other people to keep their shelves full of stuff to buy.  If you ever wondered why poor people would support lower taxes for millionaires on the right, you need only look at the left and watch poor people being duped by a public relations campaign that says they are 'making an investment in America' by overpaying for pineapples. 


    Want to be happier?  Buy organic food and all the colors of the world will be brighter, your smile will be nicer, and you will lose 15 lbs.  Seriously, organic food can do anything. Credit: Shutterstock

    It's a human rights issue

    Brian Fung at The Atlantic assures us that even if organic food is not healthier, it is healthier. This is ordinarily the kind of logic that makes sense only to Whole Foods shoppers. Even if only 95% of organic food is organic it must be better for you than...what exactly?  How much of traditional food is not organic? Does he know what the non-colloquial, spoon-fed-to-believers definition of organic is? Fung is all wrong thinking that 5% is only 1/20th the concern of regular food. In reality, the dozens of inorganic ingredients allowed in organic food are exactly what people don't like about any food.   Organic companies are dominated by conglomerates that generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue and they like that their customers think their food has no synthetic ingredients, when that clearly is not the case and they never claim it because that would be false advertising.  But they do lobby for new additions to the exempt list to make their product easier to manufacture and therefore cheaper - being not better for consumers is irrelevant to those organic corporations.

    He then falls back on the 'it is making a statement' argument.  Really, if Monsanto could mobilize the kind of free public relations rationalization that mainstream media does for organic food, they could save billions.  He doesn't seem like a crackpot, he just doesn't understand biology: "Reducing society's chances of inadvertently creating a superbug is a good reason to purchase organic foods." What???

    Chemicals are also listed as a reason to buy organic food, which shows he knows as little about chemistry as he does biology. I'd love for him to itemize this chemical-free food he is buying.  If you aren't buying his pseudoscience reasons, he has a human rights doozy - if you care about farm workers, you will want them wallowing in animal feces and organic strychnine and Bt spray rather than synthetic fertilizer and pesticides.  Hey, if it takes 80X as much fertilizer and all those natural chemicals seep into ground water, it's okay. Those are organic toxic chemicals!


    Normal food is making your kid get ADD

    CBS dutifully gave Environmental Working Group a platform for its false equivalence, since they do zero biology studies and instead simply instill fear and doubt about how dumb scientists are. Their response was claiming that they had lots of studies showing that even though pesticide levels were below a (very conservative) safe level for both organic and traditional farmed foods, the regular food was still worse. Somehow.

    "These [studies] are zeroing in on types of pesticides most toxic to people. These are insecticides that target the nervous system, and they have been linked in studies of American kids with lower birth weight, ADHD and hyperactivity," said Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst for EWG, which is a meaningful title in political groups.

    It's still environmentally better, even if studies say it is no better for the environment

    "Organics is about production methods free of certain chemical pesticides, herbicides, irradiation, GMOs, and sewage sludge. The only reason for organics to be about nutrition is marketing," New York University professor Marion Nestle wrote to Daily Meal's Jessica Chou in an email.  Nestle is a molecular biologist by degree but writes books about health food for dogs and is an often-cited authority for organic food believers.  The only way she could have more impact on American foodies would be marrying President Obama.

    Nestle concedes organic shoppers are confused if they think there is a difference in taste or nutritional benefit - plants are not somehow producing more vitamins than they need in one farm over another - but gives buyers an easy out. "There are questions about whether lower amounts of pesticides in the body are bad for health (here, too, the science is difficult) but I don’t see they could be good. This and other such studies are asking the wrong question."

    What she means is that there is no evidence it is harming anyone.  If there were any harm, advocates would say 'conclusive'. Since there is none, they say 'difficult'.

    The public agrees so the science is irrelevant

    The Des Moines Register's Daniel Finney invokes an appeal to popularity and qualifiers like 'not necessarily healthier' to hint to readers they shouldn't be bothered by science

    "A 2010 Nielsen study found that 76 percent of consumers bought organic foods believing they are healthier, 53 percent believed such purchases would allow avoidance of pesticides and other toxins, 51 percent believed organic foods to be more nutritious, and 49 percent believed organic farming is better for the environment."

    There you have it.  If marketing has convinced people that upside-down is back-and-forth, then surveys showing people think upside-down is back-and-forth are reason enough to change the definition of upside-down to be back-and-forth.  

    You're supporting small farmers

    All organic food is produced by small farmers eking out a paltry living from the land and delivering wonderfully wholesome, natural, safe food. Right? Good luck finding those places.  A few exist, I concede that, and if you can find a small farmer near you that uses no pesticides, by all means buy from them.  They are probably suffering 90% losses from pests that science easily eliminates but, hey, if you want to support small farms paying 1000% more is worth it.

    Get it only 'ridiculously more costly' while you can because it could soon be even more ridiculous. Every analysis shows that popularity will make organic food more expensive and while American organic food has numerous flaws, it is a whole lot safer than the Chinese kind you are buying in a Whole Foods store - rich Chinese people are mimicking the 1% in America who can afford to go organic and they recognize their own organic food is fake so they are buying more of it from America, which will lead to even more differentiation between the rich who can afford actual 'organic' food and the poor who think they are buying something healthier.

    What most people are not doing is buying pesticide- or herbicide-free food from a small farmer.  Horizon Organics, the largest 'organic milk' provider, is a $13 billion conglomerate.  If you think all those farmers are out there milking those organic, free-range, non-GMO, no-medicine cows by hand, that's adorable - but completely wrong. Organic food is Big Ag, that is why they sue each other and fund misguided efforts like Prop 37.

    Fact: More nutritious foods may be coming - they just won't be organic

    Even NPR has grown critical of organic marketing - and as their media kits will tell you, their audience is rich and educated and left-wing so they are not saying anything critical unless they know it is acceptable for their Whole Foods demographic.

    The future for foods that are actually more nutritious may be close, it just won't be what anti-science people call 'natural'. While 19th century farmers try to 'breed' (that is genetic optimization before 1996 - if you prefer 19th century brain surgery, this is the food science for you) vegetables that may be higher in a nutrient, the genetic solution will be more consistent. Super-nutritious microgreens are out there as a possibility, but anti-science hippies may not want them because they involve the 21st century, with its scary computers and cell phones and biology more recent than Mendel.

    "Maybe, down the road, you will actually see signs in the supermarket that advertise, for instance, iron-rich beans. Maybe they'd be organic, or maybe not," write Allison Aubrey and Dan Charles.

    Let's face it, organic marketing, if you have lost the NPR audience, you have lost America.

    Comments

    Hfarmer
    I can personally add my data point.  I have a rather substantial backyard garden.  I grow the three sisters (corn, beans, and squash) along with tomatoes, sunflowers, various peppers and onions.    I do it mostly organically.  I do mix in a little fertilized garden soil with my compost.  
    Most years I loose 1/3 of my corn to insects which could be easily dealt with if I was willing to pay for the pesticides. 
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    It's only complicated if you obfuscate as the Stanford study authors did.
    Keep reading, only if you wish to learn.

    The New York Times
    October 2, 2012, 8:30 PM
    That Flawed Stanford Study
    By MARK BITTMAN

    Mark Bittman on food and all things related.
    TAGS:

    NUTRITION, ORGANIC FOOD, STANFORD
    I tried to ignore the month-old “Stanford study.” I really did. It made so little sense that I thought it would have little impact.

    That was dumb of me, and I’m sorry.

    The study, which suggested — incredibly — that there is no “strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods,” caused as great an uproar as anything that has happened, food-wise, this year. (By comparison, the Alzheimer’s/diabetes link I wrote about last week was ignored.)

    That’s because headlines (and, of course, tweets) matter. The Stanford study was not only an exercise in misdirection, it was a headline generator. By providing “useful” and “counterintuitive” information about organic food, it played right into the hands of the news hungry while conveniently obscuring important features of organic agriculture.

    If I may play with metaphor for a moment, the study was like declaring guns no more dangerous than baseball bats when it comes to blunt-object head injuries. It was the equivalent of comparing milk and Elmer’s glue on the basis of whiteness. It did, in short, miss the point. Even Crystal Smith-Spangler, a Stanford co-author, perfectly captured the narrowness of the study when she said: “some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious. We were a little surprised that we didn’t find that.” That’s because they didn’t look — or even worse, they ignored.

    In fact, the Stanford study — actually a meta-study, an analysis of more than 200 existing studies — does say that “consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”

    Since that’s largely why people eat organic foods, what’s the big deal? Especially if we refer to common definitions of “nutritious” and point out that, in general, nutritious food promotes health and good condition. How can something that reduces your exposure to pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria not be “more nutritious” than food that doesn’t?

    Because the study narrowly defines “nutritious” as containing more vitamins. Dr. Dena Bravata, the study’s senior author, conceded that there are other reasons why people opt for organic (the aforementioned pesticides and bacteria chief among them) but said that if the decision between buying organic or conventional food were based on nutrients, “there is not robust evidence to choose one or the other.” By which standard you can claim that, based on nutrients, Frosted Flakes are a better choice than an apple.

    But they’re not. And overlooking these key factors allows the authors to imply that there isn’t “robust” evidence to choose organic food over conventional. (Which for many people there is.) Under the convenient cover of helping consumers make informed choices, the study constructed a set of criteria that would easily allow them to cut “organic” down to size.

    Suspect conclusions derived from suspect studies are increasingly common. In the last couple of weeks: having a poor sense of smell might be linked to being a psychopath. People who read food labels are thinner. G.M.O.’s give rats tumors. (That one in particular violated many rules of both science and ethics.) Usually these “revelations” are of little more than passing interest, but they can sometimes be downright destructive. Susan Clark, the executive director of the Columbia Foundation, summed up the flaws of the Stanford approach perfectly in a letter to her colleagues:

    “The researchers started with a narrow set of assumptions and arrived at entirely predictable conclusions. Stanford should be ashamed of the lack of expertise about food and farming among the researchers, a low level of academic rigor in the study, its biased conclusions, and lack of transparency about the industry ties of the major researchers on the study. Normally we busy people would simply ignore another useless academic study, but this study was so aggressively spun by the PR masters that it requires a response.”

    When Clark says “aggressively spun by the PR masters,” this is what she means: a Google search for “Stanford Annals of Internal Medicine” gave me these six results in the top seven:

    Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce (The New York Times)
    Why Organic Food May Not Be Healthier for You (NPR)
    Organic food no more nutritious than non-organic, study finds (MSNBC)
    Organic Food Is No Healthier Than Conventional Food (U.S. News and World Report)
    Study Questions How Much Better Organic Food Is (Google via A.P.)
    Save Your Cash? Organic Food Is Not Healthier: Stanford U. (New York Daily News)
    Yet even within its narrow framework it appears the Stanford study was incorrect. Last year Kirsten Brandt, a researcher from Newcastle University, published a similar analysis of existing studies and wound up with the opposite result, concluding that organic foods are actually more nutritious. In combing through the Stanford study she’s not only noticed a critical error in properly identifying a class of nutrients, a spelling error indicative of biochemical incompetence (or at least an egregious oversight) that skewed one important result, but also that the researchers curiously excluded evaluating many nutrients that she found to be considerably higher in organic foods.

    Even the Web site of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (which supported the research) features an article right above that about the new study that says “study confirms value of organic farming” and details how conventional agriculture is much more likely to contaminate drinking water with nitrates, which “can cause serious illness in humans, particularly small children.” What’s healthy and nutritious again?

    Like too many studies, the Stanford study dangerously isolates a finding from its larger context. It significantly plays down the disparity in pesticides (read Tom Philpott on this) and neglects to mention that 10,000 to 20,000 United States agricultural workers get a pesticide-poisoning diagnosis each year. And while the study concedes that “the risk for isolating bacteria resistant to three or more antibiotics was 33 percent higher among conventional chicken and pork than organic alternatives,” it apparently didn’t seek to explore how consuming antibiotic-resistant bacteria might be considered “non-nutritious.” Finally (I think) it turns out that Cargill (the largest privately held company in the United States) provides major financing for Freeman Spogli, and that’s inspired a petition to retract the findings.

    That the authors of the study chose to focus on a trivial aspect of the organic versus conventional comparison is regrettable. That they published a study that would so obviously be construed as a blanket knock against organic agriculture is willfully misleading and dangerous. That so many leading news agencies fall for this stuff is scary.

    Clark is right: this junk science deserves a response. Ignoring it isn’t enough. I apologize.

    Hank
    So if you redefine what nutritious means to be something that has nothing to do with nutrition or e even health, then the Stanford paper is invalid?  I like when pundits claim a meta-analysis is meaningless with their 'actually' qualifier too. That shows we are reading advocacy and not science.

    No one is complaining that you have been had, any more than I complain if you buy organic soap or organic pineapples or organic onions or anything else meaningless.  Yayyyyy, capitalism.  Just stop pretending you are more ethical or care more about the environment or people by outlawing food poor people can afford to advance your social agenda.  Okay?
    Poor people? Ah, you mean those people who Monsanto is able to fool and slowly kill off.

    You know Monsanto's cafeteria only serves organic food. The employees demanded it. Monsanto figures there are plenty of clueless people here and especially in third world nations, who won't complain and since Monsanto has ensured themselves zero liability, they can just reap millions and ignore the consequences.

    Good old capitalism gone amuck. Thank heavens for Proposition 37 and all the propositions that will soon follow.

    Hank
    You know Monsanto's cafeteria only serves organic food. The employees demanded it. 
    No one believes that outside Greenpeace.  That story was debunked in 1999 as a claim made by a caterer in the UK for one Monsanto site, there was no truth to it.  Here is hoping your grasp of science makes it into this century. 
    A point you miss is that organic farming generally means more ethical business practices and much better animal welfare.
    > Horizon Organics, the largest 'organic milk' provider, is a $13 billion conglomerate. < owned by Dean Foods. No it isn't organic, and most of us know it.
    It's easy to check. http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/04/largest-organic-milk-bottler-accused-o...

    This is what an organic farm should look like : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIbXU5iR2P4

    Hank
    The problem is now you are required to redefine organic food, health, nutrition and now organic farmer.  They have the sticker, it says 'organic' so, yes, they are an organic farming company, no different than any other.  Creating your own personal definition of organic farmer is pointless - as pointless as defining organic food, really. Do you actually know any organic farmers who match your personal definition?  Did you have that food tested?  Did you have it tested on enough occasions to be statistically valid?  No, you did not, you simply chose a world view.  That is what organic farming is.
    Just stop pretending you are more ethical or care more about the environment ....is this directed at Monsanto et al, Hank? ;-)

    Hank
    I am not on Team Monsanto, nor am I on Team Crank.  I am on Team Science.  Monsanto could not pay enough to come up with the marketing campaigns organic companies have inspired in clueless customers for free.
    If you are on team science, you might want to see the science on the first recombinant product used in cattle.
    It is TERRIBLE FOR ANIMAL WELFARE, and the science on its safety is beyond shoddy.
    Monsanto sold rBST to Elanco.

    “RECOMBINANT BOVINE SOMATOTROPIN (rbST): A SAFETY
    ASSESSMENT” http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Rebuttal-to-Ela...

    Ashwani Kumar
    What is Organic in Organic food ? 
    As a former "organic" gardener and employee at an organic farm, I began investigating what "organics" is all about when I formed a partnership to start our own farm. By actually looking at the standards and finding out who disagrees with them and why, I discovered that the organic movement is just a giant barrel raft of claims that have little to no scientific backing.

    So when one plank of the barrel raft is debunked (the nutritious argument), organics advocates just jump to another plank and begin arguing about a different claim (the pesticides residue argument). Then when that is debunked they jump to the sustainability plank, then to the small farmers plank.....

    And on it goes, ad nauseum, all in the service of Mutha Naytcha, the goddess of the crank Left.

    I got to thinking about this while doing chores this morning....

    Another absurdity is that the "allowed synthetics" list leaves off the most common synthetic materials on an organic farm:

    Gasoline, diesel, and PLASTICS.

    Plastic pots, plastic greenhouse covers, plastic conduit, plastic irrigation tubing, plastic implements--and the mother of all "organic" plastic usages--plastic mulch. There are machines specially designed to lay miles of plastic film on beds as mulches. These are torn up at the end of the season to be tossed in the garbage, but it's nearly impossible to keep it from breaking and leaving plastic scraps in the soil.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with using synthetic materials. I'm simply point out that the organics advocates are massive hypocrites about it.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm simply point out that the organics advocates are massive hypocrites about it.
    Why would you say that?  I'm so sensitive about my health I only smoke organic cigarettes :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Those are the "lights", but "full-bodied" are in a much nicer pack.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Ashwani Kumar
    It has become a fashion here :At Airport of Jaipur one finds shop with a label of "Organic food" but I am not aware of any organic farming being done in Jaipur. 
    Organic Cafe
    Organic food sold here ( all food that we eat is organic as human body can not digest inorganic food) 
    Organic farming is what we did in India 1000 years ago. Do we do it again now in other parts of the world. What will happen if some nematodes or fungi comes in epidemic form ? Shall we wish it away or fight with chemicals ? I fail to understand many things and one such thing is what is organic farming and organic food. 

    Organic Food is not Big Ag when you know exactly where it comes from and you can visit the ranch/farm see the process and smell the products for yourself.
    I trust "Beyond Organic" a company founded by health expert Jordan Rubin.
    They provide organic beef, dairy, cheese, chocolate and even skin and body care straight from their 9000 acre ranch in Missouri and it's given highest priority to be free from anything that would harm our bodies.
    If you are interested in learning about it you can find out here: http://beyond-organic-foods.com

    Bottom Line: While organic foods have largely been bought out by BIG AG corporations, there are still many that are operating with the best intentions for us as consumers. Find one near you or one online that works. Be blessed!
    -Paul

    Hank
    Organic Food is not Big Ag when you know exactly where it comes from and you can visit the ranch/farm see the process and smell the products for yourself.
    Okay Paul, and what is your scientific estimate on how far that organic food can be shipped before it is an environmental negative?   The fact that you are shilling for organic hand soap says that company is more Mercola.com crackpottery rather than anything based on common sense.
    Gerhard Adam
    Organic Food is not Big Ag when you know exactly where it comes from and you can visit the ranch/farm see the process and smell the products for yourself.
    That's a pretty selective view of things.   Even then, you can't possibly know how things go on a day by day basis. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Both to Gerhard and Adam, you cannot view the insider details of any respectful honorable business on earth unless you work as an inspector. So that point has no relevance.

    Consumers can in fact visit the facility and do visit it. Beyond Organic has kept a very solid track record and I'm sticking by it. I'm not sure why I'm defending such a positive thing by people who really don't know much about it.
    Why be so against something that seeks to be responsible with land sustainability and give our bodies the best food for the money. As for shipping costs to the environment, any and all foods are shipped costing money,gas and co emissions. Even local grown, you have to drive to get some (unless you live by it). Not sure that's something to be worried about in the long haul.
    And about hand soaps and lotion. have you read the back of your hand lotion lately? There are known toxins and carcinogen in the vast majority of products on the shelf watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfq000AF1i8

    Thanks for your time.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well thanks for addressing both my first and last names.

    However the point remains, the overwhelming majority of people cannot visit facilities, and such facilities hardly provide all the food that people encounter.  That is the simple truth of the matter.
    I'm not sure why I'm defending such a positive thing by people who really don't know much about it.
    As someone that's actually raised cattle, I expect I may know a bit more about it that you do.  However, that aside, it's all well and good to engage in your own beliefs and follow-up with those things you value.  Unless you can make the same argument for people living in places like New York City, your point is lost.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Both to Gerhard and Adam, you cannot view the insider details of any respectful honorable business on earth unless you work as an inspector. So that point has no relevance.
    This would also apply to Monsanto, Dupont and any GMO company.  Inspectors do get to inspect both organic food and the GM kind, and which do you think has been linked to poisoning tens of thousands of people and which has not?
    ... free from anything that would harm our bodies.

    ORLY? And how do you know that?

    You don't.

    And it's impossible. There are many more "natural" toxins out there than you think.

    All around great points, sorry I meant to write Gerhard and Hank.
    Monsanto are other Big Ag corps are not open and honest companies and its clear that they aren't. That is why I pointed out that honest, honorable companies (which have been inspected and are an open book) don't need someone snooping 24/7 to be considered a good source. Much like your cattle raising ranch I'm sure was ethically kept.

    My point is to stand behind these companies that strive to do there very best to stay away from extremely harmful toxins and other substances.
    This is a nobrainer solution. Reward those who are doing right. Obviously there are going to be imposters who act like its all organic and natural but cut corners and use alternative poisons. However I believe the best with Beyond Organic.
    Gerhard - by not knowing much about it - The "it" meant the specific company I'm referring to. I'm sure you know very much about farming, etc.

    Just thought I'd give some info about people who aren't on the organic hitlist as sheisters.
    As far as only the "RICH" being able to afford organic. While I agree that organic foods are more expensive, I don't agree that people should simply turn off of organics. Just like any market in economics, as more and more companies seek to get in on the market and supply healthy alternatives to conventionally grown food and meats, the price will go down as supply goes up. It may take some time because the demand is ever-increasing due to the spreading of knowledge that is happening from places like documentaries and even on this blog right now.

    Thanks for your time guys. I appreciate the discussion.

    Ashwani Kumar
     After 25 comments and  long discussion can someone explain to me : 1. What is organic farm ?
    2. How organic food is produced ?
    3. What is difference in inorganic farm and Organic farm? 
    4. How can one label " Organic food"
    5. FDA has guidelines to label GMO. 
    6. What are guidelines to label "Organic food" 
    7. Is is not a fraud to sell something with a wrong label ? 
    8. How this can go on in the developed world with advance technology and proven scientific methods ?
    9. Someone should characterise and compare and quantify parameters of growth, nutrient contents, food value and label them on the packet containing "Organic food" 
     are we just groping in dark to find the answers on make believe basis or 
    Organic farming and organic food are biggest discoveries of modern times ? 

    Time will tell . 

    Hank
    are we just groping in dark to find the answers on make believe basis or Organic farming and organic food are biggest discoveries of modern times ?
    I think we all know the answer to that.  :)    
    It is why we did not get rich selling organic pet food.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Wikipedia has a pretty good article answering some of your questions :- 
    Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control. 
    Organic farming uses fertilizers and pesticides but excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured (synthetic) fertilizers, pesticides (which include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides), plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, genetically modified organisms, human sewage sludge, and nanomaterials
    Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international umbrella organization for organic farming organizations established in 1972. 
    IFOAM defines the overarching goal of organic farming as:"Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved..."—International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.
    Most sales are concentrated in developed nations. These products are what economists call credence goods in that they rely on uncertain certification. Interest in organic products dropped between 2006 and 2008, and 42% of Americans polled don't trust organic produce. 69% of Americans claim to occasionally buy organic products, down from 73% in 2005. One theory was that consumers were substituting "local" produce for "organic" produce. 
    Distributors In the United States, 75% of organic farms are smaller than 2.5 hectares. In California 2% of the farms account for over half of sales.(Lotter 2003:4) Small farms join together in cooperatives such as Organic Valley, Inc. to market their goods more effectively. 
    Most small cooperative distributors have merged or were acquired by large multinationals such as General Mills, Heinz, ConAgra, Kellogg, and others. In 1982 there were 28 consumer cooperative distributors, but as of 2007 only 3 remained.This consolidation has raised concerns among consumers and journalists of potential fraud and degradation in standards. Most sell their organic products through subsidiaries, under other labels.
    Hope that helps to answer some of your questions about organic farming and food Ashwani?
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Ashwani Kumar
    Thanks Helen for your comments but I would fail in my duty if I do not call spade a spade. 
    "Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects". Is it not a very vague statement ? What is meant by health of soils : physical , chemical, water relations nutrient availability are very complex and role of microbes  or metagenomics have to be understood and defined for making measurable parameters for soil health. 
    Ecosystem : it has so many parameters and how does it become organic farming as basics of ecosystem relies on conversion of inorganic to organic and organic to inorganic due to complicated systems of microbes playing important part in it. 
    People are used to agricultural practices of 1000 years ago and use of bio-pesticides does not make it organic agriculture. India for that matter or interiors of India have subsistence agriculture at remote places but it is the irrigation water quality which will spoil the soil structure and nutrient status , it is the arsenic level in certain places in irrigation water and nitrate levels at some places even in drinking water and fluoride levels , pesticide residues from adjacent farms or in irrigation channels, intricate relationships have so many spheres and welfare of mankind is prime concern than overall environmental concerns and processes have to be taken in to account. 
    Biodiversity is not even characterised at the local level and what is "kharpatwar"  or weed for someone is food of the other , use of herbicides is almost unknown in different parts of the world and hand removal of plants which come as weeds is left to farmers. 
    Has any one monitored biodiversity of a farm in different agro-climatic conditions, soil types, irrigation levels, rainfall pattern, soil water retention and cation  ion exchange capacity, rooting pattern of the plants ? 
    There is need to define in clear terms that environment protection by reducing use of pesticides, fertilizers in developed world ( several fold excess of Nitrogen is used in developed world ) and use of pesticides by farmers bringing crops to the market for selling after spraying them with fungicides and pesticides and giving them extra shine are points of concern. 
    Selling some food as "organic food"  for higher costs without its proper certification by some agency under controlled conditions with full parameters and analysis results of soil, water, mineral uptake, levels of minerals and heavy metals  other details and differences in calorific value , vitamin levels on a scientific scale its an attempt to extract money from people in the name of Organic food which I still do now understand.  How the world is taking time to understand the define "What is Organic food " in scientific terms in era of nanoparticles , molecular biology  and biotechnology. 
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    "Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects".
     Is it not a very vague statement ? What is meant by health of soils : physical , chemical, water relations nutrient availability are very complex and role of microbes  or metagenomics have to be understood and defined for making measurable parameters for soil health. 
    Yes Ashwani, I agree that it is a vague statement but then what is meant by the health of anything? Usually it just means that something is not unhealthy and the word unhealthy normally implies unsustainability in some form or another. We can probably all agree that an unhealthy organism is less likely to be able to reproduce as easily or live as long, unaided as its healthy counterpart?

    According to the freedictionary 'Healthy' stresses the absence of disease and often implies energy, strength and that something is 'wholesome'.
    Has any one monitored biodiversity of a farm in different agro-climatic conditions, soil types, irrigation levels, rainfall pattern, soil water retention and cation  ion exchange capacity, rooting pattern of the plants ?
    I'm afraid that I don't know the answer to your question, hopefully someone else does and can answer here. I agree with you that :-
    There is need to define in clear terms that environment protection by reducing use of pesticides, fertilizers in developed world ( several fold excess of Nitrogen is used in developed world ) and use of pesticides by farmers bringing crops to the market for selling after spraying them with fungicides and pesticides and giving them extra shine are points of concern. 

    In this sciencedaily article Simon D. Kelly and colleagues point out that 'authentication of organic food products currently is based on enforcement of production standards through certification and inspection — a paper trail from farm to fork'. The article describes a new test, that in contrast, 'checks for the amount of a certain isotope, or form of nitrogen in the food.'

     Researchers found differences in the nitrogen isotope composition of tomatoes, lettuces and carrots grown organically and conventionally — an indication of whether the crop was grown with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. That fertilizer, widely used in conventional agriculture, is forbidden in organic farming, the report notes.
    Researchers indicate that such a test could be important in providing evidence on authenticity, helping to protect both consumers and honest organic growers. 

    I also agree that the word 'organic' can have many meanings which can be confusing. The freedictionary defines 'organic' as :-

    or·gan·ic  (ôr-gnk)
    adj.
    1. Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms: organic matter.
    2. Of, relating to, or affecting a bodily organ: an organic disease.
    3.
    a. Of, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin: organic vegetables; an organic farm.
    b. Raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals: organic chicken; organic cattle farming.
    c. Serving organic food: an organic restaurant.
    d. Simple, healthful, and close to nature: an organic lifestyle.
    4.
    a. Having properties associated with living organisms.
    b. Resembling a living organism in organization or development; interconnected: society as an organic whole.
    5. Constituting an integral part of a whole; fundamental.
    6. Law Denoting or relating to the fundamental or constitutional laws and precepts of a government or an organization.
    7. Chemistry Of or designating carbon compounds.
    n.
    1. A substance, especially a fertilizer or pesticide, of animal or vegetable origin.
    2. Chemistry An organic compound.
    Therefore the word 'organic' is quite a general word with quite general implications, it is not a very specific word that can be used very literally and will always be a bit vague but I can't think of a better word to distinguish and describe food that has been 'organically grown' in a sustainable manner compared to food that has been grown in an unsustainable manner by mainly using synthetic fertilisers, causing soil degradation and erosion can you? Also, I think that Hank is right, buying organic is definitely complicated and open to fraudulent claims!

    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    The 'organic' industry vilifies the carbon produced in making fertilizer, however fertilizer is actually made from hydrogen via the Haber–Bosch process which produces ammonia, which is reacted with CO2 to make urea. The carbon footprint comes from making the hydrogen out of natural gas, and burning hydrocarbons to make the CO2. However, hydrogen could also be made by electrolysis via non-carbon sources like wind/solar/nuclear, and the CO2 required could be obtained from the exhaust of a power plant that is currently dumped into the atmosphere - making the production of synthetic fertilizer a carbon nuetral (or even negative) process with only modest modifications to the fertilizer factory.

    An electric fertilizer factory with hydrogen storage capability could produce hydrogen while intermittent renewable sources are producing over-demand, and shut down and run off stored hydrogen during peak electrical demand - acting as a shock absorber to the electrical grid so that intermittent renewables can be used efficiently.

    Fertilizer produced in this manner would have a positive environmental impact and cost a bit more, however it would not qualify as 'organic' and nobody will pay more for green fertilizer that isn't 'organic'. By basing the choice between 'good' food and 'bad' food on the arbitrary rules of the organic industry (based on marketing fears and misconceptions rather than science and sustainability) the organic industry is actually holding back our ability to move agriculture in a more environmentally friendly direction. Organic is a distraction, not a solution.

    I think growing your own organic vegetables is a great thing to do. Growing your own is so much healthier than supermarket rubbish.   
    Ashwani Kumar
    I agree it is best to each home grown food wherever possible and feasible. 
    SynapticNulship
    Translation; you are a sucker financing a $29 billion industry. 


    I live in Cambridge MA which puts me in the strange situation that I go to Whole Foods sometimes because it's most convenient. Sometimes I go to the 2nd most convenient store chain here which is Trader Joes.  In fact there's one right next to my apartment building. I often wish it was a Star Market like the one near MIT.
    Of course, when I say "convenient" I mean that most of the time I am walking and carrying the groceries by hand. Free exercise.
    Anyway, occasionally I end up with organic food because it is the cheapest in context or the only one available. 


    The scary thing is how much specialty food costs here. Cambridge and Boston have a lot of little independent food stores, such as Cardullo's and Italian specialty stores which have very interesting local and/or international foods, but they're even more expensive than Whole Foods.

    Wow. So man made food has the same nutrition value as organic (God's Food)?

    Lol, if people believe this, they'll believe anything.

    It's simple. Look at the ingredients.

    When you see Aluminum in your food, there is something is wrong!

    Olestra, an ingredient in mainstream food actually makes it to where your body becomes immune to nutrition thus leading to malnutrition which then leads to death.

    Saccharin, Cottonseed Oil, Aspartame are just some of the cancer causing substances in your food,

    OR maybe corn syrup in your bread, drinks, snacks, processed foods & BABY FORMULA!!!!

    And that's just to name a few ingredients.

    So how is it they are of the same nutritional value?

    THEY'RE NOT THE SAME IN NUTRITIONAL VALUE !!!!!!!

    *SEE THE LIGHT, BE THE LIGHT MY FRIEND*

    BLESS

    Gerhard Adam
    Wow. So man made food has the same nutrition value as organic (God's Food)?

    Lol, if people believe this, they'll believe anything
    Well, apparently you bought into it.  The simple truth is that there is no difference in the food.  If you want to discuss ingredients, then you're discussing processed foods, which is different, because it doesn't matter then if the original components are organic or not. 

    The aluminum, etc. you mentioned is NOT part of the food that is produced, regardless of whether it is organic or not.  Similarly, if you want to talk about food handling and the role of pesticides/herbicides that is also separate and distinct from the food itself.

    Improper handling can cause far more problems than many artificial components, so the presence of contaminants is another separate issue.
    Saccharin, Cottonseed Oil, Aspartame are just some of the cancer causing substances in your food.
    Again, are you suggesting that Aspartame is part of an apple coming from a tree?  or in a tomato?  Of course not, so don't conflate the foods themselves [organic or conventional farming] versus the processing of those foods.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Wow. So man made food has the same nutrition value as organic (God's Food)? Lol, if people believe this, they'll believe anything
    Well, apparently you bought into it.  The simple truth is that there is no difference in the food.  If you want to discuss ingredients, then you're discussing processed foods, which is different, because it doesn't matter then if the original components are organic or not.  
    Well actually that's not 100% correct Gerhard. This sciencedaily article describes a new test, that 'checks for the amount of a certain isotope, or form of nitrogen in the food.' and can distinguish a significant difference, enough to even verify the authenticity of organically grown foods.
     Researchers found differences in the nitrogen isotope composition of tomatoes, lettuces and carrots grown organically and conventionally — an indication of whether the crop was grown with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. That fertilizer, widely used in conventional agriculture, is forbidden in organic farming, the report notes. Researchers indicate that such a test could be important in providing evidence on authenticity, helping to protect both consumers and honest organic growers. 
    Also these Wikipedia articles: Organic food and organic farming describe how :-
    The weight of the available scientific evidence has not shown a consistent and significant difference between organic and more conventionally grown food in terms of safety,[86][87][88][89] or nutritional value.[87][89][90] In 2009 a review of all the relevant research comparing organic to conventionally grown foods was carried out by the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency which concluded:
    No evidence of a difference in content of nutrients and other substances between organically and conventionally produced crops and livestock products was detected for the majority of nutrients assessed in this review suggesting that organically and conventionally produced crops and livestock products are broadly comparable in their nutrient content... There is no good evidence that increased dietary intake, of the nutrients identified in this review to be present in larger amounts in organically than in conventionally produced crops and livestock products, would be of benefit to individuals consuming a normal varied diet, and it is therefore unlikely that these differences in nutrient content are relevant to consumer health.[91]

    However, individual studies have found statistically significant differences between the composition of organic and conventional food were present for a few substances.[92][93][94] "Organic products stand out as having higher levels of secondary plant compounds and vitamin C".[95] Organic kiwifruit had more antioxidants.[96]

    So its not scientifically true to say that there is 'no difference in the food'. These studies show that there are definitely some differences between organically grown food and more conventionally grown food.

    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    If it is about farming methods then how is irradiating fruit & vegetables good for you & giving you the same benefits? When radiation induces cancer, spreads it & worsens the progression.

    What about GMO? This has been found to kill people & give them serious health problems.

    Or pesticides engineered into the fruits & vegetables themselves to kill off insects when they try to eat the food? How is this good for any human being?

    So in other words, conventional farming is processing the food. God meant it to be the way for a reason & it's been fine for ages.

    Our human bodies have thrived for millions of years, but now there is a huge breakdown of the immune system & health. Why? Because of the breakdown of the food of course no matter if it's processed food or processed farming.

    Hank
    You think all radiation is causing cancer? You understand that you are bombarded with radiation every day, right?  And all food that has not been genetically modified by humans who intentionally chose positive traits has been unintentionally modified by high-energy cosmic rays - 100% of it.

    Are natural pesticides okay?  What about when a genetically modified food expresses a natural pesticide?  Is it still natural or is it unnatural?  Can you recommend which chemical-free foods we should eat?  I am told the ACS will pay a lot of money if you can present a chemical-free food to them.

    100 years ago the average life expectancy was 42.  Now it is 72.  Are you sure we are worse off today than we were millions of years ago?
    Gerhard Adam
    Unfortunately, you're so far off the mark, you're not even wrong.  You're not in any area where factual information can be used.

    Irradiation is not the same thing as making something radioactive.  Similarly when you talk about toxins in the plants, you are obviously not aware of the toxins produced by the bacteria in your own body [healthy "good" bacteria].  I have no idea where you got the idea that GMO foods kill people.  It would be kind of hard not to notice since GMO foods have been in the food supply for almost 20 years.
    Our human bodies have thrived for millions of years, but now there is a huge breakdown of the immune system&health. Why? Because of the breakdown of the food of course no matter if it's processed food or processed farming.
    This is where we seriously part ways.  There are many potential reasons for these changes, and they require real investigation and real science.  Not simplistic conclusions that you've derived from reading too many "health" websites.

    I think you need to tone down the hysteria, especially when there is evidence all around you that things aren't the way you say, and try to temper it with what's actually taking place.
    Mundus vult decipi
    What does a discussion on irradiation/radioactive or bacteria produced by the body have anything to do with what I said?

    But nice try on avoiding the conversation & questions.

    As for GMO killing. In the 1990's there were 17,000 that were hospitalized, injured & died. How about the Genetically Modified Grass that produces cyanide & kills cows & other animals.

    Google "GMO Fatalities"

    Google "GMO Kills"

    Google "GMO Deaths"

    It's all there, the evidence, documentation & scientific studies.

    If you choose for yourself not to see it, you will never allow yourself to see it , therefore never accepting or understanding it.

    Like I said before, everyone has the right to choose what fits them & we have no right to judge them.

    Bless

    Gerhard Adam
    How about the Genetically Modified Grass that produces cyanide&kills cows&other animals.
    Well, at least you've provided proof that you don't know what you're talking about.  Check it again ... (1) you'll find that it wasn't grass that was genetically modified and (2) you'll find that this can occur given the right conditions.
    http://www.examiner.com/article/15-year-old-field-of-gm-tifton-85-grass-suddenly-produces-cyanide-kills-cattle
    Like I said before, everyone has the right to choose what fits them&we have no right to judge them.
    One isn't judging an individual when one judges the information they provide, especially if most of it is wrong.
    Mundus vult decipi
    No need to pull out the pitch forks.Lol (Farming humor)

    Understand, my position is not to attack the roots on which your feet stand, but I am here to ask questions & also to state what I have come to understand in my research, experience & my truth.
    At the same time, I am here to learn as well.

    I believe that people have the right to choose whatever fits them. So with that being said, I am not here to condemn or judge anyone. Nor do I believe organic eaters are superior. We are equal, with different beliefs & understandings. Which is perfect in my eyes. I see nothing wrong with it because we can learn, give each other ideas or insight.

    So know that I am here as a student and a teacher. A student to learn what I may not know, because there is always knowledge to be gained. Learning never ends.
    I am also here as a teacher, to give what I have come to understand.

    As for the discussion.

    I am talking about induced over exposure of radiation by means of man made machines saturating foods of course.

    Google "radiation increases cancer".

    You'll find plenty on what it does to humans through these means.
    So logically speaking, wouldn't the food be it the same way just as harmful when we place it into our bodies which then flows throughout our system?

    Are you advocating that further irradiation of these techniques are 100% as safe as non induced radiation?

    It just seems like a lot of extra trouble & cost for the company to go out of their way to add, what seems to be harmful production procedures.

    Like I said, I"m just trying to understand logic behind this.

    If man made radiation kills healthy cells in a human, what will it do to the nutrients inside the fruit or vegetable?

    As for genetically modified food expressing a "natural" pesticide. The genetically modified food, to begin with is unnatural, thus imitating what is classified as a natural pesticide from an unnatural source. So the "natural" pesticide itself does not magically turn a genetically modified food into a natural food. That would be absurd to suggest.

    I like how you tried to spin my words to try to imply that I feel we were better off millions of years ago, but at the same time trying to imply that we live longer now because of these farming tactics nowadays.

    100 years ago hospitals, personal transportation, emergency transportation grocery stores, food stamps, jobs, health care, advances in medical technology, health consciousness, an active lifestyle such as jogging & much more were not common or practiced.
    Unless what they place and/or infuse into these foods make us live longer, then there is no reason why that could ever be implied.

    What I am saying is, our food without the interference of man made provisions that harms anyone or subtracts from the nutritional value was not in place ages ago & human beings have survived. It is NOT due to the new practices in "conventional" farming in place today. That's ludicrous to imply.

    On my personal journey, I prefer not to consume what I have come to understand will harm me. Personally I feel a huge difference in energy, focus, health & performance. A lot of my health problems disappeared once I experimented with organic. It takes discipline, self control, breaking old habits & ending old desires, but it's not that hard because it's REAL food, you can taste & feel the difference.

    It's all up to the person to decide what they want do on their journey & what ever they choose is perfectly fine.

    Peace be with you.

    P.S. Isn't it weird how in the 70's, 80's & the years before, it's hard to find obese individuals? What changed? Just some food for thought.

    Hank
    Of course we had obese people in the 1970s and even earlier. They were called rich people. Gout was also a disease of the rich because only they could afford the lifestyle that set it off by now it cuts across social strata.  Today, science has made it possible for all poor people in this country to be fat, something had was not possible in history.

    You need to learn that no food undergoes chemotherapy.  You also need to learn that not all radiation is bad, not all chemicals are bad and, most importantly, not all that is natural is good.  Seriously, nature is out to kill you.
    So being fat is a privilege for the poor now?
    I don't think poor obese people feel that it's privilege to be obese. The rich was only a small portion of society back then. Yet the rest of the population remained thin while eating burgers, fries & sodas plus people ate more home cooked meals.

    Chemotherapy?
    Not what I was implying. The process breaks down the DNA beyond repair, stops the ripening process, chemical changes & so forth.

    The entire process is explained in the online encyclopedia under "Food Irradiation"

    Yes it is true, all that is natural is not good for you, it is a balance. You can not have the good without the bad. The day without the night. The rain without the sunshine. Though they are only "bad" if our minds label them as bad. For instance, most people takel a rainy day as a negative, but what about the benefits to all things other than ourselves such as animals, plants etc. In the same way, we judge as the bad & the good. The negative and the positive. It is a balance.

    Lol, of course nature is out to kill me & all of us.

    It's natural.

    MikeCrow
    I think I'll take the CDC's version of the entire irradiation process.
    Never is a long time.
    Ashwani Kumar
    What has been published recently about vitamin contents of so called  Organic food ( all food items that we  eat comprise of  organic food but they are not necessarily  "Organic food")  vs Agricultural  food direct from the farms. I am not including processed food or irradiated food that is different matter.  The food contents can not be different in "Organic food " as all biological metabolic chains for different plant species are fixed and unless we change them genetically the physiological methods can not change the overall composition or contents to any large extent. 
    What are the qualitative and quantitative  differences in  vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, primary and secondary metabolites  in so called " Organic food" and normal agricultural produce ? Can some data be compared  on this site of Science ? If both are same the issue to be discussed and compared  is  the use of pesticides, specific fertilizers and nutrient use efficiency, composition of irrigation water, soil structure and function, crop rotation, soil pH, EC and overall methods of farming. 




    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Ashwani, as I commented above, this sciencedaily article describes a new test, that 'checks for the amount of a certain isotope, or form of nitrogen in the food.' and can distinguish a significant difference between organic and conventionally grown food, enough to even verify the authenticity of organically grown foods.
     Researchers found differences in the nitrogen isotope composition of tomatoes, lettuces and carrots grown organically and conventionally — an indication of whether the crop was grown with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. That fertilizer, widely used in conventional agriculture, is forbidden in organic farming, the report notes. Researchers indicate that such a test could be important in providing evidence on authenticity, helping to protect both consumers and honest organic growers. 
    Also these Wikipedia articles: Organic food and organic farming describe how :-
    The weight of the available scientific evidence has not shown a consistent and significant difference between organic and more conventionally grown food in terms of safety, [86][87][88][89] or nutritional value.[87][89][90] In 2009 a review of all the relevant research comparing organic to conventionally grown foods was carried out by the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency which concluded:
    No evidence of a difference in content of nutrients and other substances between organically and conventionally produced crops and livestock products was detected for the majority of nutrients assessed in this review suggesting that organically and conventionally produced crops and livestock products are broadly comparable in their nutrient content... There is no good evidence that increased dietary intake, of the nutrients identified in this review to be present in larger amounts in organically than in conventionally produced crops and livestock products, would be of benefit to individuals consuming a normal varied diet, and it is therefore unlikely that these differences in nutrient content are relevant to consumer health.[91]

    However, individual studies have found statistically significant differences between the composition of organic and conventional food were present for a few substances.[92][93][94] "Organic products stand out as having higher levels of secondary plant compounds and vitamin C".[95] Organic kiwifruit had more antioxidants.[96]
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Helen,

    Just be careful in interpreting "statistical significance."

    All that means is that the difference is statistically valid, not that it is significant or major. So researchers found some differences in a few substances between organic and conventional. That means that the differences were real. They very well could have been minor differences while still being real (not chance findings, false positives or natural variation present in both varieties) and statistically significant.

    Not accusing you of this, but often the crackpot crowd utilizes this type of term to lend weight to an argument that is still very minor.

    Ashwani Kumar
    "form of nitrogen in the food"Nitrogen can be found in plants in nucleotides making DNA and RNA, in proteins made to order as per information present in genes and encoded using process of transcription and translation. Almost all enzymes are produced based on genetic informations. All enzymes are proteins ( Ribozyme apart). Other form of nitrogen is amino acids and proteins. Any differences in protein composition can be observed if the DNA is different and that is genetically regulated process. I fail to understand how proteins, amino acids and vitamins can be different in plants having same genome but  grown under  conditions of so called "Organic farming"  or produced by normal farming ?.