Grilled Assorted Australian Seafood

Japanese Afternoon Tea

Mugwort Dumpling and Tea

Little Evidence of Health Benefits from Organic Foods

You’re in the supermarket eyeing a basket of sweet, juicy plums. You reach for the conventionally grown stone fruit, then decide to spring the extra $1/pound for its organic cousin. You figure you’ve just made the healthier decision by choosing the organic product — but new findings from Stanford University cast some doubt on your thinking.

“There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” said Dena Bravata, MD, MS, the senior author of a paper comparing the nutrition of organic and non-organic foods, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

A team led by Bravata, a senior affiliate with Stanford School of Medicine, did the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date of existing studies comparing organic and conventional foods. They did not find strong evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives, though consumption of organic foods can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.

The popularity of organic products, which are generally grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers or routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones, is skyrocketing in the United States. Between 1997 and 2011, U.S. sales of organic foods increased from $3.6 billion to $24.4 billion, and many consumers are willing to pay a premium for these products. Organic foods are often twice as expensive as their conventionally grown counterparts.

the researchers found little significant difference in health benefits between organic and conventional foods. No consistent differences were seen in the vitamin content of organic products, and only one nutrient — phosphorus — was significantly higher in organic versus conventionally grown produce (and the researchers note that because few people have phosphorous deficiency, this has little clinical significance). There was also no difference in protein or fat content between organic and conventional milk, though evidence from a limited number of studies suggested that organic milk may contain significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

The researchers were also unable to identify specific fruits and vegetables for which organic appeared the consistently healthier choice, despite running what Bravata called “tons of analyses.”

“Some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious,” said Smith-Spangler, who is also an instructor of medicine at the School of Medicine. “We were a little surprised that we didn’t find that.”

The review yielded scant evidence that conventional foods posed greater health risks than organic products. While researchers found that organic produce had a 30 percent lower risk of pesticide contamination than conventional fruits and vegetables, organic foods are not necessarily 100 percent free of pesticides. What’s more, as the researchers noted, the pesticide levels of all foods generally fell within the allowable safety limits. Two studies of children consuming organic and conventional diets did find lower levels of pesticide residues in the urine of children on organic diets, though the significance of these findings on child health is unclear. Additionally, organic chicken and pork appeared to reduce exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but the clinical significance of this is also unclear.

Read more at Stanford School of Medicine ….

Read further ….

Eating organic food ‘won’t make you healthier’ ….

Stir-fried Squid with Sweet and Sour Sauce


1 large squid
30 g snow fungus
50 g button mushroom, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar


eggwhite of half of an egg
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp minced ginger


1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
1/3 cup chicken broth


  1. Soak snow fungus in water until soft. Cook in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove and drain. Cut into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Score the surface of the squid with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Add seasoning and set aside for 15 minutes.
  4. Blanch squid in hot oil until curled up nicely.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok. Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add fungus and mushroom. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Mix in sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Add squid, vinegar and sesame oil. Toss to combine. Remove and serve hot.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

Today’s Comic