July 30th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

What does it mean if organic food is no healthier than regular food?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Organic food is no healthier or more nutritious than regular food. But it is more expensive.

That's according to a study commissioned by the British government and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers looked at 50,000 studies conducted over 50 years - and found no significant differences in the foods. They focused on a wide range of crops and livestock raised and marketed under organic standards.

The few differences they found were about the kind of fertilizer used - like nitrogen or phosphorus - and how ripe the crops were when harvested. They say these differences are unlikely to provide any health benefit to consumers.

This will probably come as a blow to those who shell out a lot of money to buy the more expensive organic products because they think it's healthier.

Sales of organic foods have skyrocketed in the U.S. in the last 20 years; topping $23 billion last year.

Critics of the report say it ignores possible side-effects from pesticides and that organic farming may be better for the health of the animals. They say consumers who buy organic are supporting a system that bans the routine use of antibiotics and treats livestock better.

But if you buy organic food because you think it's more nutritious, you may want to think again. Plus, regular food is cheaper.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if organic food is no healthier or more nutritious than regular food?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Food Prices • Health
July 30th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should federal government be involved in saving news media?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The news media are fighting to survive - and Dan Rather thinks the government should help rescue them. The former CBS anchorman is calling on President Obama to create a White House commission to help save the press.

Dan Rather believes journalism has declined to a point that it is time for the government to intervene.

Rather says such a commission could make recommendations on saving journalism jobs and creating new business models to help the industry survive. He says there are precedents for this kind of national commission - which have helped other failing industries.

Rather says the stakes couldn't be any higher. He told the Aspen Daily News: "A truly free and independent press is the red beating heart of democracy and freedom." And he says it's not just journalists who should worry about the fate of the press; but rather every citizen.

He also talked about "the dumbing down and sleazing up" of what we see on the news; and blames that on the blurry line between news and entertainment - along with corporate and political influence on newsrooms. He claims about 80-percent of the media is controlled by a handful of corporations.

Rather also talks about the decline in investigative and international reporting; and says the loss of reporters covering the two ongoing wars hurts our nation.

The bottom line as he sees it: If somebody doesn't step in and take action... the nation will lose its independent media.

Here’s my question to you: Should the federal government be involved in saving the news media?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government • News Media