According to the Oxford dictionary Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments. So what does statistics have to do with your health? LOTS
Earlier this week a recent study made headline news on NPR, Dr. Mercola's site, and several other media sites stating that there is little evidence of health benefits from consuming organic food. The study which came out of Stanford University looked at 200 existing reviews, their statistics and summaries, and came to the conclusion that there isn't a markable difference in the nutritional value of organically grown food. They also sumized that the pestiside levels on the food, although noted, was not above the "allowable limits" so pestisides are not a reason to buy organic. This is were the statistics come into play. Someone, somewhere decided what is an "acceptable level" of pestisides that can be on food sold for human consumption supposedly, because of statistics compiled, reviewed and summerized. However, what about the accumulation of these "acceptable levels" in a person's body? Over what period of time is it considered safe before the safe levels become unsafe? These questions and others are answered totally different depending on how the satistics are skewed, read or inturrepted. Therefore, how are we as consumers suppose to make a healthy decision? Perhaps we start by looking at the broader picture and considering that of all these 200 studies done, none were conducted for longer than 2 years. Hopefully, our life expectancy is much longer than two years. Secondly, we must consider that uncovering subtle effects of our environment, or what we eat, on our health is difficult to qualify. There are just too many other powerful influences that muddy the findings. Third, it is difficult at best, not to notice that the further we get from naturally grown food and the more processed/manipulated our food becomes the worse our nation's health becomes. All statistics show we have unparrelled levels of obesity, heart disease, auto-immune diseas and cancer than ever before. Another consideration should be that the nutritional value of any specific food can vary greatly from one market to another depending on the soil it was grown in, when it was picked, how long its been in storage and so on. So once again, eating local is your safest, healthiest bet. See our last blog post for ideas and suggestions of how to eat local and support your local farmers.
Find Out If Organic Food is Right for You
Making better food choices is a critical piece of improving your overall health. Luckily, Natural Horizons can help. Visit our Lifestyle and Nutrition Counseling page to learn how we can help you make better dietary choices. Schedule a FREE evaluation to find out if nutrition counseling is right for you.