It's World Organic Month. It's also Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and Sepsis Awareness Month. (1) You'll be forgiven if you don't know all that. With only 12 months in a year and an infinite number of causes there is going to be some crowding. But suicide, cancer and sepsis are all real things, and that is where they are distinguished from organic food, which attributes any number of otherworldly powers to food grown and manufactured using their particular process.
One supernatural belief is that organic food will "detoxify" you. I was intrigued by the recent claims of Geeta Sidhu-Robb, who bills herself an inspirational mother of three (as opposed to you other non-inspirational mothers of three, and certainly not you peasants with one, two or four children), ex-corporate lawyer (uh-huh) and entrepreneur (bingo.) Given all those qualifications, she created a line of organic smoothies she says will detox you. Or anyone willing to give her money, really. She says she was inspired to sell you organic smoothies because her child had severe food allergies, eczema, asthma and anaphylaxis(?) and pesky medicine couldn't solve it.
Her smoothies did. Take that, Mylan, your $600 EpiPen will never be needed because putting some organic food in a blender will prevent anaphylactic shock.(2)
And she has the marketing gimmick that detox believers love; celebrity name-dropping. She lists clients such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Georgia May Jagger and Poppy Delevingne. What she is lacking is any actual evidence that anything she claims works. (3)
She does at least pretend to invoke some: "up-to-date research" about the mystical power of organic food.
See, there it is. Except the up-to-date research is just a press release. It says it is from 2015 but it is actually identical to the same press release of 2014. And 2014 was the year that the economist who got all those millions from organic trade reps wrote a paper claiming organic food was better in too many ways to count. (4) People selling organic food love Chuck Benbrook, he calls himself a scientist even though he is an economist, and all of his fans dutifully repeated his claims. (5) From the press release:
Can an adjunct professor use the title Professor? I suppose technically. In America, law graduates are granted a Juris Doctor (J.D.) so Geeta could also technically call herself Dr. Sidhu-Robb given her legal degree. It is wobbly ethics and most lawyers are not going to engage in it, though anti-GMO economists seem fine doing so.(6) Based on his paper, organic marketing reps declared the science settled, (7) but scientists knew better. The paper was an unweighted random-effects meta-analysis with large outliers included. They searched using broad terms like 'organic' and 'biodynamic' and then attempted to synthesize the dramatically different studies using a random effects model. In that scenario, a large sample becomes a problem, unless you want to show something crazy and you know the British Journal of Nutrition won't bother trying to peer review it.
There is no basis, rational or spiritual, for claims that shade tree grown food, free range, kosher, organic or any other process will detoxify you better than any other food. However, the weight of evidence has conclusively shown that there is one super detoxification technique that really works: having functional kidneys.
(1) I want to be thorough so...
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Leukemia Awareness Month
Lymphoma Awareness Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
National Sickle Cell Awareness Month
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month
Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month
National Cholesterol Education Month
National Pediculosis Prevention Month
Fruit and Veggies - More Matters Month
National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month
National Infant Mortality Awareness Month
Sports and Eye Home Safety Month
National Alopecia Awareness Month
America on the Move - Month of Action
Baby Safety Awareness Month
Healthy Aging Month
Children's Eye Health and Safety Month
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month
and if you believe organic food can heal you,
National Yoga Awareness Month
(2) Seriously, do not listen to anyone claiming they can cure allergies with structured water, organic food or supplements. While I get that some parents, like Geeta, may exaggerate a mild allergy and claim a peanut will cause anaphylactic shock, if the allergy is really severe and shock does occur, use epinephrine. If you are a normal parent who isn't out to buy or sell alternative food beliefs, your child is more likely to be murdered than die from a severe allergy - and they are 2000% more likely to die in an accident. So you are probably okay. However, if you are the kind of parent who exaggerates the severity of a reaction, an organic smoothie will work, because there was never any risk in the first place. You are also far more likely to raise a son who wears a man-bun.
(3) It probably works for weight loss, which she also claims. I imagine any vegetable smoothie diet does, because crash diets work. In the short term, at least.
(5) They used the term "leading" scientist. He simply claimed to be a Research Professor at the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. He was actually an adjunct with a lot of corporate money donated in his name. He also did a paper claiming organic food was better because organic buyers liked the "feel" of organic strawberries more. Really, organic trade reps got their money's worth from him. And he told them they would. See this Freedom of Information Act data which catches him offering "research on request."
(6) I don't call myself a scientist, so why does this economist? Oh right, I am ethical. He also called himself "chief scientist" at the Organic Center trade group from 2004 until 2012. I could call myself Mary Poppins and some people might believe that means I can make an umbrella fly - that doesn't make it science.