Dean Rohrer

El mito de la agricultura orgánica

STANFORD – Los productos orgánicos -desde los alimentos hasta las panaceas para el cuidado de la piel y los cigarrillos- están muy en boga. Supuestamente, sólo el mercado global de alimentos orgánicos hoy supera los 60.000 millones de dólares anuales. La Comisión Europea parece compartir las opiniones de los devotos orgánicos: su visión oficial de la agricultura y los alimentos orgánicos es "Si es bueno para la naturaleza, es bueno para usted". Pero no existen pruebas persuasivas de ninguna de las dos cosas.

Un meta-análisis de datos realizado en 2012 a partir de 240 estudios concluyó que las frutas y las verduras orgánicas, en promedio, no eran más nutritivas que sus pares convencionales más económicas; tampoco tenían menos probabilidades de estar contaminadas por bacterias patógenas como la E. coli o la salmonela -un hallazgo que sorprendió inclusive a los investigadores-. "Cuando iniciamos este proyecto", dijo Dena Bravata, integrante del equipo de investigación, "pensamos que tal vez habría algunos hallazgos que respaldarían la superioridad de los alimentos orgánicos por sobre los convencionales".

Mucha gente compra alimentos orgánicos para evitar la exposición a niveles nocivos de pesticidas. Pero ése es un razonamiento escasamente válido. Si bien las frutas y las verduras no orgánicas tenían más residuos de pesticidas, los niveles en más del 99% de los casos no superaban los umbrales de seguridad conservadores establecidos por los reguladores.

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