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.