A Letter from Yummy Spoonfuls Founder & Chief Yummy Officer (CYO), Agatha Achindu
Hello Moms & Dads,
Recently, The Annals of Internal Medicine – a professional medical journal – published a study by Stanford University scientists which compared the health benefits of organic versus conventional food. The media picked up the story, and you’ve probably seen the headlines splashed everywhere: “Organic Food No More Nutritious than Conventional;” “Don’t Pay More for Organic;” “Organics No Better for Health” —the sensational headlines would have you believe that they’ve made a huge exposé. The news seems to say – organics aren’t worth the extra cost, and organic food is a scam.
Many of our customers may wonder what all of this means for Yummy Spoonfuls. After all, our company has been built on the idea of pure food – we’re committed to organics as the core of our business model. So, I think it is important to respond.
What the study actually says
First, it is important to note that the media cherry-picked the results of the study. Most news outlets took a few statements about comparative nutritional values, and blew the story out of proportion. They did not mention other points in the study, which held organics in a favorable light. And, they did not mention a huge amount of information which was left out of the study
To summarize, the study looked at fruits, vegetables, eggs, grains, dairy, poultry and meat. Processed foods were not included. They analyzed nutrients and contaminants, and found little difference nutritionally – but there was a 30% lower rate of detectable pesticide contamination in organically grown produce, and higher rates of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in conventional poultry and meat. The full study can be found here.
The biggest flaw in the reporting – and in the study itself – is the idea that nutritional value is the only reason why consumers choose organics.
In fact, food not only contains vitamins and minerals. It often contains additives, pesticides, toxic chemicals, preservatives, growth hormones and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). GMO’s may be the most harmful of all, and yet the Stanford study doesn’t even mention them.
Robyn O-Brien, writing this great piece for The Huffington Post, said it best:
“Food is not just a delivery device for vitamins and minerals, as measured in the study, but it is also used as a delivery device for these substances that drive profitability for the food industry. To fail to measure these added ingredients, while suggesting that there is essentially no difference, is incomplete at best. Some might even go so far as to suggest that it is irresponsible in light of the fact that we are seeing such a dramatic increase in diet-related disease.”
Is the timing a coincidence?
Although Stanford University states that the study’s authors received no external funding, it is hard to believe that the timing of the study’s release is pure coincidence. The study was published just two months before California voters are set to decide whether to require food manufacturers to disclose their use of GMO’s.
Food and agricultural giants Monsanto, DuPont and others, have poured millions of dollars into defeating the measure. They have rallied all types of organizations, saying that the labeling requirement would be “bad for business.” It certainly makes sense that Stanford University – a California institution which relies on corporate ties and donors for its support – may have released this study just in time to sway voters against GMO labeling.
Proposition 37 would simply require products containing GMO’s to be labeled as such – it isn’t a ban – it just gives us the truth about what is in our food. GMO labeling is the norm in Europe. It is a measure that has broad public support. But apparently, the food giants are so threatened by the truth, they will stop at nothing.
“Organic” is one way we can protect ourselves against GMO’s, as well as contamination and harmful additives; it is very sad that big corporations would try to discredit organics and go against the public good to further their profit-making agenda.
As a mom, it all comes down to common sense. Will I give my child food that has pesticide residues – chemicals designed to kill living things? The effects of GMO’s on human health are entirely unknown; would I allow my family to be a test case? Is it worth it to try various additives and preservatives on my baby to see if he has a reaction?
The answer to all of these questions is – of course not. I will not experiment with my family’s health. I do not need a scientist to tell me whether good, clean food is the best choice – because organic food is tried and true. I know that most parents agree, and loving moms and dads will continue to choose the best for their kids.
That’s why Yummy Spoonfuls stands firm in our commitment to purity and fresh: Organic food is just common sense.
Yours in good health