Caution—“Organic” Foods Ahead

In Food, Science, The Big Picture by E. Calvin Beisner

The craze for “organic” foods grows apace in America, with otherwise rational people choosing to pay twice as much or more for foods labeled “organic” as for conventional foods.

Does that make sense?

Not much.

Claims that “organic” foods are healthier than non-“organic” have a hard time finding any empirical justification. Claims that “organic” foods are locally sourced and more environmentally friendly, too, fall short.

Those interested in learning the problems with the “organic” food craze can get a quick introduction from Julie Kelly’s “When ‘Organic’ Food Isn’t,” in May 25’s National Review. For a deeper look, go to two articles in the Washington Post that she links. And for still deeper analysis, try former “organic” food inspector Mischa Popoff’s book Is It Organic?

Why does all this matter? Partly because people who think they’re improving their health by buying “organic” generally aren’t. But partly, too, because hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted that could be used to much greater benefit.

Dr. Beisner is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance; former Associate Professor of Historical Theology & Social Ethics, at Knox Theological Seminary, and of Interdisciplinary Studies, at Covenant College; and author of “Where Garden Meets Wilderness: Evangelical Entry into the Environmental Debate” and “Prospects for Growth: A Biblical View of Population, Resources, and the Future.”