New study shows organic food more nutritious than ordinary produce

November 5, 2007

October, 29, 2007/London – A new study has found that organic food is more nutritious than ordinary produce and may help people live longer. Researchers say that the four-year project will bring years of debate on organic food to an end. They also say that the findings are likely to capsize government advice that eating organic food is nothing but a lifestyle choice.

The study found that organic fruit and vegetables contained as much as 40 percent more antioxidants, which scientists believe can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Researchers also revealed that organic food had higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc.

According to Professor Carlo Leifert, the co-ordinator of the European Union-funded project, the differences were so obvious that organic produce would help to boost the nutrient intake of people not eating the recommended five portions a day of fruit and vegetables.

“If you have just 20 percent more antioxidants and you can’t get your kids to do five a day, then you might just be okay with four a day,” Times Online quoted Prof Leifert, as saying.

For the study, researchers grew fruit and vegetables and reared cattle on adjacent organic and nonorganic sites on a 725-acre farm attached to Newcastle University, and at other sites in Europe. After analysis, they found that levels of antioxidants in milk from organic herds were up to 90 percent higher than in milk from conventional herds.

They also discovered that organic tomatoes from Greece had considerably higher levels of antioxidants, including flavo-noids thought to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. Leifert said the government was mistaken about there being no difference between organic and conventional produce.

“There is enough evidence now that the level of good things is higher in organics,” he said. Following the research, the Food Standards Agency in the UK confirmed that it was reviewing the evidence before deciding whether to change its advice.



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