The stale and narrow premise that what distinguishes organic from non-organic foods is simply their nutritional content is on the table again in today’s NY Times article by Kenneth Chang about a new megastudy to that effect. But, as Sonya Lunder,a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group stresses, many who buy organic foods are aware of the complexity of issues beyond mere nutritional aspect. The nutrition debate leaves, as in the past, a whole host of other reasons why to buy organics off the table. Besides ingesting less residual toxins from pesticides buying organic groceries, produce, meat and fish means choosing the health of the environment and biodiversity over sprayed monocultured fields, it means voting for the health of the farmworkers so they don’t get exposed to toxic pesticides and herbicides, in the case of meat and fish it means choosing not to ingest antibiotics and surface bacteria (another relevant article in today's paper), it also means voting against genetically modified plants and animals, and it means choosing the more humane tending to, raising and slaughtering of animals for meat. Lastly, if buying from a nearby farm, choosing organic is linked to choosing local over global.
So, buying organics is a vote for a multitude of betterments, not simply a choice for more nutritious food.