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posted: 9/18/2012 4:40 AM

Organic diet can't be discounted

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I am writing in response to the article in the Sept. 4 paper about the Stanford University research suggesting that organic food might not be any healthier than nonorganic.

I'm not challenging the research, which is probably the best available. But I do have another point of view and an opinion of my own.

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For one thing, I suggest that there is hardly an adult in our country today who has not consumed a nonorganic diet for the better part of his life. So it is difficult to compare the health of those people against those who have primarily consumed organic food. It is the elderly generation who was fortunate to have begun their lives with "chemical free" foods.

The researchers reported that "conventional" foods have "safe levels" of pesticides in them. But who is to decide what a safe level is? And what may be safe for some people may not be safe for all people. And it certainly has been determined that children should not be fed foods with such chemicals in them. And there are many people who have switched to organic foods due to personal health issues and are finding help and relief from their problems.

Nutritionists tell us that fruits and vegetables are good for us and yet we have to be urged to eat them. Maybe people would find that they tasted better without the chemical enhancements.

The research may suggest that there is not a whole lot of difference between organic and conventional. But there is a difference. And it is wrong to discount it as being unworthy of consideration.

There are too many people who experience better health, better tasting food and appreciate a more responsible approach to the environment by growing and consuming organic food products. It is wrong to discourage and criticize that.

Ken Peterson

Hampshire

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