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Is Organic Food Healthier for You?

Organic foods are healthier food you if you just look at the obvious: pesticides. Your chances of getting pesticide residues are much less with organic food. But what about the nutritional content of the actual food?

The biggest study ever of organic food in 2007 found that fruit and vegetables contain up to 40% more antioxidants that conventional equivalents, and that the figure was 90% for organic milk. The 4-year study was funded by the European Union and was the largest of its kind ever undertaken.

From Earth Island Journal:

Charles Benbrook, chief scientist at the Organic Center and former executive director of the Board on Agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences, maintains a database of all the studies published since 1980 that compare the nutrient levels of organic and conventional foods. His analysis of food comparison studies shows that, on average, conventionally grown fruits and vegetables have 30 percent fewer antioxidants than their organically grown counterparts. This makes enough of a difference, says Benbrook, that “consumption of organic produce will increase average daily antioxidant intake by about as much as an additional serving of most fruits and vegetables.”

The public health implications of farming methods that restore food nutrient density are tantalizing. Several studies released in 2007 suggest that moving US agriculture toward organic practices could help to reduce the incidence of some of our nation’s most debilitating and costly chronic diseases.

By defnition, Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards, meaning they are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives.[1] Livestock are reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones. In most countries, organic produce must not be genetically modified.

 


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