The Illusion Of Organic


Christie Wilcox parses the recent, somewhat controversial Stanford study that questioned the advantages of organic meat and produce. She offers a major reason why the science doesn't support "paying significantly more for organic foods just to avoid synthetic pesticides" – you will encounter the chemicals elsewhere:

Your home probably contains more pesticides than you ever imagined. Plastics and paints often contain fungicides to prevent mold—fungi that, by the way, can kill you. Your walls, carpets and floors also contain pesticides. Cleaning products and disenfectants contains pesticides and fungicides so they can do their job. Ever used an exterminator to get rid of mice, termites, fleas or cockroaches? That stuff can linger for months. Step outside your house, and just about everything you touch has come in contact with a pesticide. Insecticides are used in processing, manufacturing, and packaging, not to mention that even grocery stores use pesticides to keep insects and rodents at bay. These chemicals are all around you, every day, fighting off the pests that destroy our buildings and our food. It’s not surprising that most pesticide exposures doesn’t come from your food.

She suggests "there is no scientific evidence that eating an organic diet leads to better health":

Our constant attention to natural versus synthetic only causes fear and distrust, when in actuality, our food has never been safer. Eating less fruits and vegetables due to fear of pesticides or the high price of organics does far more harm to our health than any of the pesticide residues on our food.

(Image from the work ‘Axiom and Simulation’ by Mark Dorf via Ignant)