Organic food, conventional food

I’ve been won­der­ing whether there’s any solid ev­i­dence that or­ganic food is healthier than con­ven­tion­ally pro­duced food—the ar­gu­ments I’ve seen on the sub­ject have been the­o­ret­i­cal/​aes­thetic.

I’m in­ter­ested in any­thing in the range from per­sonal sto­ries to sci­en­tific stud­ies, but would pre­fer to avoid ex­tremely gen­eral ar­gu­ments or claims that peo­ple who pre­fer one or the other are demon­strat­ing char­ac­ter defects.

Edited to add: Thanks for the replies. I’m hop­ing for ex­per­i­ments which test the effects of food pro­duced in var­i­ous ways on or­ganisms, es­pe­cially multi-cel­lu­lar or­ganisms. It was in­ter­est­ing to find out that plants which have to fight off in­sects for them­selves have more mu­ta­gens.

The mu­ta­tion ex­per­i­ment is very cute, but it leaves out the pos­si­bil­ity of dam­age that isn’t re­lated to mu­ta­tion—for ex­am­ple, hor­monal effects. Also, if it’s done on a stan­dard bac­te­ria ac­quiring the abil­ity to make a par­tic­u­lar nu­tri­ent, this might not be a test for mu­ta­tion in gen­eral.

I re­al­ize ex­per­i­ments on or­ganic vs. con­ven­tional would be difficult, es­pe­cially if you’re track­ing hu­man health. It would be very hard to avoid con­found­ing fac­tors like other lifestyle fac­tors and in­come.

“Con­ven­tional food” is ac­tu­ally a large blob of a con­cept—differ­ent pes­ti­cides, fer­til­iz­ers, etc. are used on differ­ent foods at differ­ent times, so find­ing out what peo­ple are ac­tu­ally ex­posed to would be difficult.