Category Archives: Organic/Conventional

The organic halo alters food and exercise choices

Nutrient-based claims on food labels are shown in some research to promote calorie underestimation.  This is often called the health halo effect; certain buzz words associated with what people consider healthy cause them to overgeneralize other attributes of a food, downplay the number of calories, and not pay as much attention to the nutrition facts panel. A couple recent studies by Schuldt and Schwarz (1) show this happens with the word "organic" on the label as well, with food and exercise. Read more [...]

Organic agriculture pest control through enemy evenness

Recently I wrote about a study on organic vs synthetic pesticides on sustainability, which suggested that organic pesticides are not always more efficacious against pests nor as selective (not killing natural enemies of pests) than synthetic pesticides. Earlier this month a study was published on a related area: organic farming on natural enemy evenness.  Different farming techniques can alter the balance of the natural enemy species' and cause a reduction to only a select few species.  Existing Read more [...]

Organic pesticides aren’t necessarily more sustainable than synthetic

It would seem illogical that organic compounds are all more sustainable than synthetics, or vice versa.  The term "organic" has a health halo, biasing many people toward believing organic growing techniques are best for the environment.  I've already covered analyses suggesting that there isn't enough evidence that suggests organic foods are better for your health, so is the higher cost justified by a lessened environmental impact?  Bahlai et al. just published a paper suggesting that the dichotomous Read more [...]

Organic vs. conventional food on health: not enough data

You may recall last year's review by Dangour and colleagues that concluded, based on 162 studies (55 met the inclusion criteria), that "there is no evidence of a differencein nutrient quality between organically and conventionally producedfoodstuffs." This brought about much controversy on the web, as well as a rebuttal by Benbrook et al.  Media reporting complained about this research, such as that it did not examine potential contaminant use, health outcomes, or environmental effects further Read more [...]