The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 4, 2012

Study suggests organic foods yield mixed benefits; advocates say results ‘skewed’

Standing behind his table of produce at the Webb City Farmers Market, Chris Sharpsteen said he has a good reason for using primarily organic growing methods.

“I do it because I eat this stuff, too,” he said after bagging up a few Mountain Fresh tomatoes for Penny Scearce, a Joplin resident. “Why put anything in your body that you don’t have to?”

Sharpsteen was alluding to chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in conventional farming.

Several shoppers — Scearce included — at the market Tuesday said they try to buy organic produce when they can, but a study released this week by Stanford University could lead consumers to believe doing so has little impact.

“Here’s the thing,” said Sue Baird, executive director of the Missouri Organic Association. “You can always do studies. But it’s real interesting how you can skew results of studies. We have a lot of big corporations involved in (nonorganic farming).”

In the Stanford study, researchers analyzed thousands of reports and then narrowed them to 237 that most rigorously compared organic and conventionally grown foods. Of those, 17 compared the health of consumers who were eating organic versus conventionally grown foods, while the remainder looked at the properties of the foods.

Stanford researchers — who said they did not use any outside financing — wrote that “the published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.”

The report said conventionally raised meat does harbor more antibiotic-resistant bacteria than organic meat, and that consumers of nonorganic chicken or pork are 33 percent more likely to ingest strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria than those who eat organic meat.

The study also concluded that the consumption of organic foods “may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.” The report said organic produce has a 30 percent lower risk of containing detectable pesticide levels, but that the amount measured from conventionally grown produce was within safety limits.

Reaction was mixed at the farmers market.

Marilyn Clark, a Webb City resident who visits the market regularly with her granddaughter, said the thought of eating produce that has come in contact with pesticides or fertilizers makes her “uneasy.”

But she doesn’t limit her family’s produce consumption to solely organic.

“I don’t specifically go after them,” she said. “In other words, if I see produce that looks like quality, I will buy it even if it isn’t from an organic vendor. I know what I’m getting here at the market is clean and fresh.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter