Lies, Damned Lies And Headlines

“Why Organic Food May Not be Healthier For You” screamed the headline and millions of nay sayers the world over could be heard to say “Yeah, we told you so.” But once again the demand for  sexy headline got in the way of the truth.

Organic Fruit & Veggies

Where did  the germ for the story come from?  It was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine  but the article goes beyond the claim that there is no extra nutritional value in organic produce.

Quote: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The second sentence alone would suggest organically grown food is vastly superior to food treated with large amounts of chemicals that stimulate growth and kill pests.  The long-term effect on humans is still largely unknown.

In  a further qualification the Annals of Internal Medicine articles says the studies were heterogeneous and limited in number, and publication bias may be present. That would suggest the finding must be taken with a grain of salt. (I know, I know it’s not good for you).

Now look again at the bald headline. “Why Organic Food May Not be Healthier For You.” after reading the article am I wrong in concluding the headline should have read   “Why Organic Food is Healthier For You.”

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that organic produce is far tastier than the mass-produced alternative and if the added benefit is that my family won’t be ingesting pesticides and growth hormones that’s good enough for me.

There is a rider however, we’re talking Certified Organics anything else is a bit of a lucky dip.

Bottom line – read beyond the headline.


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