is organic food better for you?
A new scientific paper shows that there are significant compositional differences between organic and conventional crops (primarily vegetables, fruits and cereals) that are relevant in terms of nutritional quality. Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, it’s the largest and most up-to-date analysis of the nutrient content in organic versus conventionally produced foods. The meta-study (research that collates and examines the results of other studies) analyses significantly more studies than any previously, and was carried out by an international team of scientists led by experts at Newcastle University. You can find out more about the research on the Newcastle University website.
the main points are:
- Organic crops and foods made from them are up to 60% higher in key antioxidants (linked to lower risk of many diseases and cancers) than conventionally-grown crops
- Organic food contains significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals than conventionally grown crops
- A switch to eating organic fruit, vegetables and cereals (and food made from them) can provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating 1-2 extra portions of fruit and veg a day
- This study uses ground-breaking new analysis techniques and is the largest investigation into organic food ever completed (analysing 343 studies vs 46 in the FSA commissioned study)
At Riverford we’ve been growing and eating organic food since 1987, and have always felt that it looks, feels and tastes different from conventionally produced food.
We believe that by allowing our crops to grow slowly without using chemical pesticides or pushing them on with artificial fertilisers, the flavour has more time to develop. It seems logical to us that this difference would also be reflected in their nutritional content too.