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STUDY: Organic foods don't make you healthier

6:28 PM, Sep 4, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Russell Warren is living proof, he says, that eating organic works. He survived both a heart attack and prostate cancer.

However, the 73-year-old is not on any medications.  He didn't undergo chemotherapy or radiation.  He says his way of life saved his life. By eating organic, he claims, he avoided a death sentence.  That -- and supplements -- he tells us, is the key to his health.  No fancy gimmicks, no intense treatments. 

"I feel great," he proclaimed Monday afternoon.

Russell is a bookkeeper at Sweetwater Organic Community Farm in Tampa and is surrounded by a supply of healthy food.  He says it's changed his entire existence.

"Don't eat anything in a can, generally speaking.  Don't eat anything in a box, generally speaking.  If it has more than five ingredients on the back of it, it's probably not good for you," Russell told us.

He also says it's doesn't come without sacrifice.

"I miss my apple pie and ice cream," he admits. "But, I wouldn't go back to it!"

So, what does he think of a new study by Stanford University claiming that organic foods may not be healthier for you than the non-organic regular option?

"I know what's good for me," he says.

Here's how the study worked.  Researchers looked at 237 studies, comparing the nutrient content.  Basically, they looked at the level of the bacterial, fungal or pesticide contamination or difference in diets when people chose to go the organic route versus the non-organic one.

The conclusions were that there was little significant difference in health benefits between organic and conventional foods.

While conventional food did show more health risks, most seemed to be within the safety limits.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

It revealed that organic produce is 30 percent less likely to be contaminated with pesticides than conventional fruits and vegetables.  However, it also showed that organic foods aren't necessarily 100 percent free of pesticides.

Many mothers say that their main concern is just eating healthy - plain old fruits and veggies.

One mom told 10 News, "I don't care about organic labels.  I just want fruits for my kids."

Another mother cited price.  "Fresh fruits, whether they're organic or not, and that they're a good quality.  Price is an issue too," said Jennifer Dillon, mother of Jacqueline.

In the end, while it may make you feel better, researchers say it's not making you any healthier to eat organic. 

It was also shown that there were lower levels of pesticide residues in the urine of children on organic diets.  However, both organic and conventional diet levels of urinary pesticides were in the allowable safety limits.

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