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Why eating organic food to fight cancer may be a waste

Lana Bandoim's picture
Organic Food

A new study from the University of Oxford reveals that eating organic food does not appear to help fight cancer. The study included 600,000 women, and researchers closely followed their eating habits to determine the impact on their health. They discovered that organic food did not reduce the women’s chances of getting cancer.

Can organic food fight cancer?

Researchers followed women who ate organic food free from pesticides and chemicals for a decade. They found that 45,000 stated they always ate organic food while 180,000 did not eat it. Overall, they did not see any significant difference in cancer rates among the women who ate organic versus the women who never ate organic.

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The study raises an important question about the ability of organic food to prevent or stop cancer. Despite the common belief that food free from pesticides and chemicals should offer an advantage in the cancer debate, the data reveals it does not make a difference. Researchers tracked 16 different types of cancers in the women to determine their results, and 50,000 ended up with cancer during the decade.

Is organic food a waste of money?

The study has left many people wondering if buying and eating organic food to prevent cancer is actually a waste of money. Since organic food tends to cost more than conventional food and is sometimes more difficult to find, the new research may discourage people from paying extra for organic.

There have been previous questions about organic products because labeling can vary greatly, and contamination from pesticides and chemicals is still occasionally possible. Researchers state they would rather see people focus on eating more fruits and vegetables instead of worrying about the residues that may be on the food. Washing the produce thoroughly before consumption can help.

The study relied on women to report their eating habits, so the possibility of errors exists. In addition, the researchers only tracked 16 types of cancers, and there may be other benefits to eating organic food that were not their focus.