Rebecca Benner

Rebecca-BennerRebecca (Goldman) Benner is the director of science for The Nature Conservancy’s North Carolina chapter. Rebecca is an interdisciplinary scientist whose work focuses on the intersection of people and nature looking at how to quantify and communicate the benefits nature provides to people’s well-being. She received her PhD from Stanford University working with Professor Gretchen Daily and law Professor Buzz Thompson. Rebecca has worked mostly internationally (particularly in Latin America) both for TNC and for the Inter-American Development Bank. In North Carolina, she is using science to help support new strategies and initiatives, particularly freshwater, in the State to help expand conservation efforts and to engage new people in conservation.


Rebecca's Posts

What Does the Science Really Say about Organics?

By Rebecca Benner, director of science, The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina

What does the science really say about organics?

There has been a fairly steady stream of debate about organic products (especially food), and whether they actually meet their marketed health and environmental claims. Dig deeper into the scientific research about organic foods and you’ll find the jury is still out; in other words, it’s not time to give up on organics yet.

Organic products are increasingly common. Most grocery stores carry at least a few kinds of organic foods, and there are a surprising number of organic clothing labels and other products appearing in the market all of which you can buy in places ranging from Target to Whole Foods.

Parallel with this growth comes the question of whether or not buying organic is “worth it.” A Stanford University study published in 2012 generated much of this debate when the research showed that organic foods have very few health benefits over conventional foods.

The flurry of responses to the article indicates the grey area around the value of organic foods — a statement which brings up the crux of the issue — what is the “value” or the “worth” of organic foods.

Health benefits are only one of the potential benefits of organic foods. The other is environmental.

Posted In: Agriculture, Science
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Salmon Cam Returns

We’re pleased to return Salmon Cam, a live view of spawning Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead trout.

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