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343 Studies Find Significant Differences between Organic and Non-Organic Food

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

An international team of experts led by Newcastle University has shown that organic crops are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown ones.

Analysing 343 studies into the compositional differences between organic and conventional crops, the team found that a switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals - and food made from them - would provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

The study, published today in the prestigious British Journal of Nutrition, also shows significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals in organic crops.  Cadmium, which is one of only three metal contaminants along with lead and mercury for which the European Commission has set maximum permitted contamination levels in food, was found to be almost 50% lower in organic crops than conventionally-grown ones.

Newcastle University's Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the study, says: "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.

"This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting." New methods used to analyze the data

This is the most extensive analysis of the nutrient content in organic vs conventionally-produced foods ever undertaken and is the result of a groundbreaking new systematic literature review and meta-analysis by the international team.


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