Paying up to 40% more for organic food is worth the investment, wrote Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), in a Wall Street Journal article on June 16, 2013.
While researchers have yet to provide a definitive answer about whether more costly and harder-to-find organic food, such as produce, milk, and meat, is healthier than conventional foods, “It only makes sense that food free of pesticides and chemicals is safer and better for us than food containing those substances, even at trace levels,” Lu wrote.
What’s more, he wrote, “Some convincing scientific does exist to suggest that an organic diet has its benefits.” In 2006 Lu led a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives that showed that within five days of substituting mostly organic produce for conventional produce in children’s diets, pesticides disappeared from the children’s urine.
Both Lu and a University of Florida physician, who countered Lu’s view on buying organic, advised those on limited budgets to consider buying organic versions of foods on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list, or focus on organic versions of foods eaten most frequently. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less processed foods remains the goal, they wrote.
Vegetables and Fruits (HSPH’s The Nutrition Source)
Organic food no healthier than non-organic: study (HSPH in the News)
Avoiding pesticide residue on fruits and veggies (HSPH in the News)
Exposure to Pesticide in Produce with Dr. Alex Lu, Harvard (Environmental Working Group video)