CNN (and just about every other news source) report the results of a new study on the effects of eating organic food:

You can protect yourself from cancer by eating organic, a new study suggests. Those who frequently eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer, a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine finds. Specifically, those who primarily eat organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer compared to those who rarely or never ate organic foods.

The authors of the study even speculate that the case is the lower levels of pesticides in organic food (though their study isn't test this idea).

Not everyone agrees. This Guardian article argues (without being overly critical of the methods used):

But taking the limitations into account, it’s hard to take anything out from this study at all. If you are male, well-educated, or don’t smoke, there’s no reason to eat organic based on this study at all. In fact, the main group that eating organics seemed to help was postmenopausal French women, and while that is still an interesting finding it limits the applicability of this study to many people’s lives.

And the study gets different conclusions to other large studies of diet.

So how reliable is this study and its speculative conclusions implicating pesticides? Does eating organic food reduce your risk of cancer?

  • 1
    For those non-native speakers who stumbled over it like I just did -- this means "organic" as in "organic farming", not "organic" as opposed to "anorganic". ;-)
    – DevSolar
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 12:58
  • 2
    @DevSolar I mainly 'eat' chalk, gypsum,and granite, all anorganic, just to feel a full stomach. All my real energy comes from Inedia in the form of sunlight, the only natural way to sustain oneself with prana. But seriously, I find all those food labels –organic, natural, Alimento orgánico, fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliment_biologique– equally confusing. Therefore I too think that a short definition might benefit the question. The word itself is only meaningful through local conventions. Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 13:17
  • 2
    Since this question is about the credibility of a specific scientific study, it might be a better question for medicalsciences.stackexchange.com Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 15:34
  • 3
    Eating organic implies that you are health conscious. It's going to be awfully hard to separate out organics from more solid pro-health behaviors. Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 8:03
  • 3
    Eating organic is also tied to larger disposable income, which has an effect on health. Lots of confounding factors with this sort of study. Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 16:07


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