Consumers who shop for organic foods are often passionate in their belief that it's healthier and safer.
"The food tastes much better, and there's no pesticides, and I know I'm getting healthier food," said Marsheila Fenison, a shopper at Rollin' Oats Market and Cafe in Tampa. "I'll be 55 this month, and I want to live a long time and feel good."
But a new study from Stanford University calls those beliefs into question. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says, among other things, organic food is no more nutritious than non-organic. And, organic is no less likely to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria like E. coli.
"It's shocking," offered Debby DeGraaff, an organic cooking teacher who makes presentations to shoppers at the market. She believes organic foods are more nutritious and contain more vitamins and minerals.
One finding of the study seems to cut both ways. Researchers found conventional fruits and vegetables have more pesticide residue than organic, but the study says the levels of pesticide found on conventional foods are almost always under the EPA's allowed safety limits.
"There's no such thing as acceptable limits," continued DeGraff. "The corporations that are putting the pesticides are doing the testing. We need third-party testing."
The organic food industry is a $12-billion-a-year player in the U.S. economy. Many who buy organics swear by them. So, one study may not win this new food fight over organics.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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