Would an apple by another name taste as sweet, or so free of antibiotics, so nutritious and healthful? Or would it taste exactly the same, but just cost more? Such were the concerns of Stanford University doctors who researched whether organic really means what people think it's supposed to mean, and whether organic foods are actually any "better" than the old regular sort of food. Because when you think organic, your mind thinks healthy, right? But, as the Associated Press reports, organic may not be everything you hoped it was.
Debates over food-words like organic and natural and green and artisanal have been going on for quite a long time now. Ever since the words fell into common use to describe items at your grocery store of choice, it seems they've only proliferated with little regard for truth in meaning, getting slapped on a can here or a sticker there to indicate something "better" or more wholesome. Sure, there are regulations on the words, and the word organic is involved in 4.2 percent of retail food sales, according to the USDA—from an A.P. piece in the New York Post — the organization which "certifies products as organic if they meet certain requirements including being produced without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, or routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones." Note there's nothing about "health" there, only the implication thereof; that's an implication some people have picked up and associated with the word, regardless of the technical definition.