Recently, another study claiming that organic food has no more nutrients than conventional food was published. Since this study appears to defend the chemical-laden conventional food, it has been widely spread by the mainstream press. Yet several important factors should be noted about this latest study.
First, it provides no new data, but is a review of approximately 200 previous studies.
Second, nearly all studies of this nature, including most, if not all, of the studies they reviewed, are done by universities who are completely committed to supporting conventional agriculture, and receive large donations from Big Ag and the biotech industry, including Monsanto.
Third, and most important, it completely ignored, as do nearly all studies of this type, the most important factor in how many nutrients will be in food—the soil.
The Fatal Flaw in Conventional vs. Organic Studies
Have you ever been puzzled about why almost every study comparing organic food to conventional food finds no difference in nutrients? I have. It just does not make sense. Yet university study after university study finds no real difference. The answer was given to me by a farmer who attended a famous agricultural program in a well known university. I will honor my promise to keep his identity confidential.
This farmer, while a student, assisted with agricultural studies and is completely familiar with how they were conducted. Universities and food research organizations have their own land, or land that they use to raise crops and animals for studies and experiments. When they study the qualities of crops or animals, they raise them on their particular research land. Since nearly all of the research they do involves conventional farming, this land is heavily spayed with pesticides on an ongoing basis, and artificial fertilizers are regularly used. This has the effect of greatly depleting the natural nutrients in the soil, and filling the soil with substances that block the absorption of nutrients.
When “organic” farming is done on this land for the purpose of a study, the same blasted, depleted soil is used that had previously been used to raise conventional foods.
Since the nutrients are not there in the soil in the first place, plants that are grown with organic methods on that dead, depleted soil do not have more nutrients than conventional food raised on the same soil. The plants and animals cannot absorb nutrients which are not there. The same chemical residues that block the absorption of nutrients in conventional agriculture will block the absorption of nutrients when organic methods are used on the same poor soil.
This fact alone makes all of these studies fatally flawed.
The Database for the Study Is Flawed
A study relying only on other studies has all of the flaws of the studies it relies on. Most of these studies were conducted by researchers beholden to Big Ag.
So many studies these days are nothing but an analysis of other studies. I do not consider this method to be of value, since studies of this type rely on all the bad information gathered and interpreted by the previous studies. This is particularly true in this case. The agricultural research done in this country is completely dominated by conventional and high-tech methods, especially GMOs and Bio Tech. Chemicals rule, and GMOs are touted as the solution to every problem. The reason for this bias is obvious—money. Big Ag and the biotech industry make huge grants to agricultural schools, with Monsanto leading the way. In fact, one of the largest and most respected agricultural schools in the nation has been called “Monsanto U” by its students. My anonymous friend was openly mocked by his professors when he questioned the desirability and safety of GMOs. Funding is also provided by the Federal government, which appears to only fund research of conventional agriculture and GMOs.
Just about all agricultural research done in these institutions is on conventional methods and GMOs. The extent of how bad and biased this really is was shown during debate on the most recent farm bill. Senator Jon Tester of Montana introduced an amendment that would require that just five percent of federally-funded agricultural research be devoted toward the development of classic non-GMO seeds and biological diversity in seeds, as opposed to the current zero percent. That amendment was killed. Which tells us that one hundred percent of federal agricultural research funding, which goes to the very institutions that do agricultural research and studies, is devoted to GMOs and similar unnatural methods.
Do you trust institutions whose funding is targeted solely toward supporting Big Ag and GMOs to be unbiased when it comes to research that affects the value of Big Ag and GMOs?
The Healthy Peoples Studied by Dr. Price Got Far More Nutrients than We Do
Dr. Weston A. Price spent ten years traveling the world to learn about nutrition. He studied a number of traditional peoples who ate the diets of their ancestors. Dr. Price sent over twenty thousand samples of their foods to be studied in the U.S. It was found that these peoples got far more vitamins and minerals than modern peoples, often five times as much or more, depending on the nutrient. All of their food was organic. All of their food came from soils and environments that had never been sprayed with chemicals, or subject to artificial fertilizers. All these peoples were careful to rest, restore, and fertilize the soil they used, using totally organic methods. Dr. Price wrote that many of the nutritional deficiencies suffered by modern peoples were due to the poor, depleted soil that was used for farming. I might add that the soil he wrote about was far less depleted than the soil we use today.
Dr. Price considered good soil to be the foundation of nutritious food, and devoted an entire chapter to this subject in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
Yet this latest study totally ignored the quality of the soil used to raise the food in the studies.
Grassfed Meat Is Far Superior to Factory Meat, and Depends on Good Soil
Like almost all such studies, the issue of whether the meat people ate was grassfed or factory meat was totally ignored. But the truth of the matter is that grassfed meat contains far more nutrients than factory meat, containing far more omega-3 fatty acids, much higher levels of CLA, and many other nutrients. This has actually been established by studies, whose information is superbly presented and summarized in this excellent article at EatWild.com, Health Benefits of Grass-fed Products.
While most grassfed beef is not organic, it is raised with methods that are the equivalent of organic, and it must be raised on soil that is rich enough to support good grass, or the cattle will not thrive and fatten. Many grassfed ranchers use traditional rotational grazing methods to enrich their soil and improve their grass.
Truly Organic Food, Grown on Good Soil, Is Much More Nutritious than Conventional Food
I have eaten organic food that seemed quite ordinary, and organic food that filled me with energy, made symptoms disappear, and made me feel like I had just taken a drink from the fountain of youth. The difference? I am convinced it was the soil. Much organic food is grown on soil that was once used for chemical agriculture, which ruins and depletes the soil.
But some organic food is grown on clean soil, free of chemicals, which has been carefully nurtured with traditional methods. I have eaten fruit and meat raised at Chaffin Family Orchards. The fruit, eggs, and meat from this farm is raised on land that has never been sprayed with chemicals. Land that has not been tainted with artificial fertilizer. Land whose fertility is carefully nurtured and preserved by traditional methods, such as rotational grazing.
The first Chaffin food I ate was some organic apricots. The skin on two of my fingers was quite dry and was peeling and cracked in a few small areas. I thought it was due to the hot, dry summer and not drinking enough. While apricots are not my favorite food, these apricots were delicious beyond dreams, I felt so good and renewed when I ate them. Within two days, the skin on these fingers had healed completely, as if it had never been damaged. I had been eating plenty of organic fruits and vegetables before I ate the Chaffin apricots, and I am convinced that it was the good soil that made the difference. There was some nutrient in those apricots that my body used to heal the dry skin. Anecdotal? Totally.
But let us remember something. Humans have been learning and passing down information for tens of thousands of years, maybe longer. All of that knowledge was anecdotal. Modern scientific studies have been around for less than two hundred years, and would have never been invented if it were not for the anecdotal information that came first. There is old saying—experience is the best teacher. What I learned from the Chaffin apricots taught me to appreciate the value of food grown on pure, rich, chemical-free soil. I trust this experience far more than any number of flawed studies.
Based on the knowledge of how agricultural research is conducted today, the work of Dr. Price, and my own experience—I am convinced that organic food, or the equivalent of organic, raised on good soil—contains far more nutrients than conventional foods.
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