Research shows significant nutritional advantages of organic food

Organic food. Goodfoot Farm, Beth HoinackiNew research from Newcastle University, to be published on Tuesday 15 July, in the British Journal of Nutrition, has shown that organic crops and crop-based foods – including fruit, vegetables and cereals – are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than their non-organic counterparts.

The study – a meta-analysis, which looked at 343 studies – found that, as well as being higher in antioxidants, organic crops also contain significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals.

Helen Browning, Soil Association chief executive commented: “The crucially important thing about this research is that it shatters the myth that how we farm does not affect the quality of the food we eat. The research found significant differences, due to the farming system, between organic and non-organic food.

“We know that people choose organic food because they believe it is better for them, as well as for wildlife, animal welfare and the environment, and this research backs up what people think about organic food.

Organic food. Cows in meadow“In other countries there has long been much higher levels of support and acceptance of the benefits of organic food and farming: we hope these findings will bring the UK in line with the rest of Europe, when it comes to both attitudes to organic food and support for organic farming.”

This is the most comprehensive analysis of the nutritional content in organic vs. non-organic food ever undertaken.

The full paper – “Higher antioxidant concentrations and less cadmium and pesticide residues in organically-grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses.” Baranski, M. et al. – will be published in the British Journal of Nutrition on Tuesday 15th July 2014.

Source: Soil Association

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