Monday, February 06, 2006

Consumer Reports' Organic Food Research Results

Based on recent scientific findings, as well as its own research and that of other groups, Consumer Reports says that some organic foods may be worth their added cost, because consuming them may reduce health damage from pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and other food contaminants.

As part of its study, the Consumers Union, which publishes CR, also said that some organic foods likely aren't worth the extra price, because the nonorganic forms of those foods tend not to contain many contaminants. And the group also provided some perspective on the vagaries of organic labeling.

Among organic foods worth buying are: apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, strawberries, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and baby foods

Among nonorganic foods with relatively low contamination are: asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapple, and sweet peas

Products for which organic labels are meaningless, due to weakness in standards and enforcement: seafood and cosmetics

The report also noted several scientific studies, including one published online by Environmental Health Perspectives, which found that within just a few days of switching from conventional food to organic, concentrations of several pesticides in children's urine dropped to undetectable levels, and that resumption of conventional food consumption led to a rapid return to the previous pesticide concentrations.

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