Organic Food Has More Antioxidants, Less Pesticide Residue: Study

Posted on July 14, 2014 by

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By Dominique Mosbergen

Organic food really is better for your health than its conventional counterparts. At least, that’s the conclusion of a new study conducted by researchers at Newcastle University and published this week. But not everyone is convinced.

Specifically, the researchers said that organic fruits, vegetables and cereals contain significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants than conventionally grown crops. They added that organic produce and cereals were found to have lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides.

For the study — said to be the largest of its kind — the researchers analyzed more than 340 international, peer-reviewed studies that looked at compositional differences between organic and conventional crops.

According to the paper, researchers found that organically grown produce and cereals have between 19 and 69 percent higher concentrations of certain antioxidant compounds than conventionally grown crops.

“Many of these [antioxidant] compounds have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including [cardiovascular] and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers, in dietary intervention and epidemiological studies,” the paper reads.

The researchers added that pesticide residues were four times more likely to be found in conventional crops than organic ones. Organic produce and cereals were also found to have significantly lower concentrations of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal.

“This study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals,” lead study author Carlo Leifert said, per a news release. “This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting.”

The question of whether or not organic food is really better nutritionally has plagued health-conscious foodies for years; but despite Leifert’s confidence, it doesn’t seem that his new study will put this debate to rest.

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