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Will Eating Organic Food Make You Healthier?

For related articles and information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page and our Health Issues page.



"This research shatters the myth that how we farm does not affect the quality of the food we eat," said Helen Browning, chief executive of Soil Association. But other researchers are not convinced. Photograph: Alamy


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Switching to organic foods could be equivalent to eating one or two extra portions of the recommended "five vegetables a day", say the team responsible for the most comprehensive study of organics to date.

Damian Carrington writes in the Guardian:

The international scientific team behind the new work... say the increased levels of antioxidants is equivalent to "one to two of the five portions of fruits and vegetables recommended to be consumed daily and would therefore be significant and meaningful in terms of human nutrition, if information linking these [compounds] to the health benefits associated with increased fruit, vegetable and whole grain consumption is confirmed."

Consumption of antioxidants has been linked to better health. This, along with the revelation that levels of cadmium, which is poisonous to humans, were considerably lower in organic food, has lead organic advocates to claim the study vindicates their long held belief that organic food is better for you.

"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," said Helen Browning, chief executive of Soil Association, which campaigns for organic farming.

But questions have been raised over the study's methodology and assumptions. And whether it is possible to draw health conclusions from the results.

Tom Sanders, a professor of nutrition at King's College London, told Carrington: "the question is are they within natural variation? And are they nutritionally relevant? I am not convinced."


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