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Friday, September 14, 2007

Exra Klein is a genius but I have no idea where he got the idea that organic food is healthier than other food.

What's with this "organic" business ? Are you aware of any evidence that organic fruit is more healthy than other fruit ? The case looks pretty weak

To change the subject, are you about to tell me that we need to eliminate preservatives from our food and also that we can reduce cancer and heart disease with anti-oxidants ? The second claim is supported by some evidence. The problem is that the words "preservative" and "anti-oxidant" are synonyms.

When I took organic chemistry in 1979 the professor seemed to really enjoy himself when he noticed that organic chemicals were mostly introduced in the 60's and we know from the case of cigarettes that there is a 20 year lag from increased exposure to cancer and bwa ha ha ha (I think he was a sadist).

Didn't work out that way. Instead we had a mysterious decline in death rates. So is there any evidence that preservatives prevent heart attacks well uhm yes

I should stress that I am quite serious and believe that organically grown food is no healthier than otherwise identical non organically grown food. I also genuinely believe that antioxidants in general (including BHA and BHT added as preservatives) reduce the risk of cancer and coronary artery disease. This second belief is based on the guess that Vitamin E has these effects because it is an antioxidant and not because it is, specifically, vitamin E which guess is based on theory and not evidence.

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