A recent Stanford University study says the nutritional value of organic food is no more than conventional food. Critics say the study was too narrow, but it still aroused questions on whether people should buy organic.
Victoria Getty is director in the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Indiana University. She says organic produce does contain lower levels of pesticides.
“Organic produce has lower pesticide levels, but the amounts in other produce is not dangerously high,” she says.
But Getty says organic products also have fewer negative effects on animals, the environment and farmers’ health, among other benefits.
As he shops at the farmers market in Bloomington, Mark Milby says he chooses to buy the local organic produce for some of those very reasons.
“From a nutrition standpoint, I would say that they’re probably about equal. I choose to buy from these farmers to support them economically and because I think it does make a difference environmentally,” he says.
And local is key to many businesses. Bloomingfoods store manager Jason Hill says his store has not been affected by the study. He says that is in part because the store markets itself as organic and local which helps maintain loyal customers.
“One of the planks of our mission statement is to help grow not only a safe, local food network but also to work with many, many entities in the community for economic development here,” Hill says.
Hill says if people take the study more seriously and stop buying organic, Bloomingfoods would have to include more non-organic foods in its product mix.