WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Organic food spending increased more than egiht-fold over a 13 year period, but a new study shows less health benefit from organic foods than once thought.
Research at Stanford University funded by the American College of Physicians shows no significant nutritional difference in nutritional values between organic and conventionally-grown foods.
The study released Monday in the Annals Of Internal Medicine includes a review of 17 human studies and more than 200 studies of a wide range of unprocessed foods such as veggies, fruits, milk, eggs and meat.
The findings did show that organic foods have a 30% lower chance of having pesticide residue, but the levels of contamination in non-organic foods are far below dangerous levels.
Scientists did find a greater risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in non-organic pork and chicken.
D.C. Dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield, RN of Elite Nutrition says , especially when it comes to produce, this news may encourage those who shy away from colorful foods for fear of contaminants, especially if they cannot afford organic foods in their budgets.
Scritchfield says, "Right now about 70% of Americans don't get their daily fruits and vegetable needs. The most important thing is that we get those colorful fruits and veggies on our plate, whether they're conventional or they're organic."
But human health concerns aren't the only reasons for consumption of organic foods.
Scritchfield says, "Ultimately, buying organic or not is a personal choice and for those who have the income to do it and who are consciously thinking about the environment and the farmers and the quality of the food supply, they are using their dollar to vote that they prefer organic foods and that can be a great choice."
Scritchfield notes that organic foods are also free of genetically modified organisms or GMOs.
Between 1997 to 2010 consumer spending for organic food has risen from 3.6 billion dollars to over 26 billion dollars.