News of the latest Stanford study published in  Annals of Internal Medicine  says that the published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

A message for me, the “non- scientist” that was not so much about what they said but rather what they did not say.

The study by design looks at organic and conventional foods through a very narrow widow and misses asking the questions relative to the impacts of conventionally grown foods on both human health and the environment.

In short the study is  part of a story.

Conventionally grown foods use chemicals that are often unnecessary and preventable and often are not only found on conventionally grown foods but in our air, water, soil and in the cord blood of babies, children and adults.

The EPA tells us that laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.  However, these effects depend on how toxic the pesticide is and how much of it is consumed.

Some pesticides also pose unique health risks to children . Pesticides may harm a developing child by blocking the absorption of important food nutrients necessary for normal healthy growth. Another way pesticides may cause harm is if a child’s excretory system is not fully developed, the body may not fully remove pesticides. Also, there are “critical periods” in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual’s biological system operates.

If we are ever going to look at reducing incidences of cancer. We must look at very basic practices such as how we produce food and truly understand what the outcomes are for both human health and the environment.

Increased incidences of cancer. That should be the headline.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have estimated that as many as 2 in 3 cases of cancer (67 percent) are linked to some type of environmental factor, including use–or abuse–of tobacco, alcohol, and food, as well as exposures to radiation, infectious agents, and substances in the air, water, and soil.

The time is now for getting a handle on reducing incidences of cancer. Shifting to prevention requires us to reorder how our culture prioritizes money, human health and the environment. As a culture, we have looked the other way as profit continues to rise above human health and the environment.

As many of us are bewildered by the story this study tells -understand this:

U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Sales in 2010 represented 7.7 percent growth over 2009 sales. Experiencing the highest growth in sales during 2010 were organic fruits and vegetables, up 11.8 percent over 2009 sales. (Organic Trade Association)

Certified organic acreage in the United States reached more than 4.8 million acres in 2008, according to latest data posted by USDA. U.S. total organic cropland reached 2,655,382 acres in 2008, while land devoted to organic pasture totaled 2,160,577 acres. California leads with the most certified organic cropland, with over 430,000 acres, largely used for fruit and vegetable production. (Organic Trade Association)

Now does it really take a scientist to understand why this study ?