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Organic Consumers Association

Organic Foods More Nutritious Than Conventional Foods

  • The Results Are In: Organic Foods More Nutritious Than Conventional Foods
    By Katherine East
    NewsTarget.com, November 18. 2007
    Straight to the Source

If you have been a supporter and consumer of organic foods because of its better taste and health benefits, then you've probably endured the taunts from scoffers and sceptics and labelled a "health nut", "fanatic" or worse.

Even a government body (the FSA) which provides advice and information on food, has up to now had the following stance on organic foods: "Consumers may also choose to buy organic food because they believe that it is safer and more nutritious than other food. However, the balance of current scientific evidence does not support this view."

Well, now it's almost official: Organic foods really are better for you.

The biggest and most extensive scientific study and research into the benefits of organic food has found that it is more nutritious than ordinary produce and may in fact lengthen people's lives. They also contain higher levels of antioxidants and flavo-noids which help ward off heart disease and cancer as well as higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc. (But you could've told them that.)

Newcastle University have been leading this £12m, four-year project, funded by the European Union and their findings show that organic food contains more antioxidants and less unhealthy fatty acids.

They found levels of antioxidants in milk from organic cattle were between 50% and 80% higher than normal milk. Organic wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, onions and lettuce had between 20% and 40% more nutrients than non-organic foods.

Project co-ordinator Professor Carlo Leifert said: "We have shown there are more of certain nutritionally desirable compounds and less of the baddies in organic foods or improved amounts of the fatty acids you want and less of those you don't want. Our research is now trying to find out where the difference between organic and conventional food comes from. What we're really interested in is finding out why there is so much variability with respect to the differences. What in the agricultural system gives a higher nutritional content and less of the baddies in the food?"

The studies have indicated that differences between organic and non-organic produce were so marked, eating organic produce is like eating an extra portion of fruit or vegetables everyday. "If you have just 20% more antioxidants and you can't get your kids to do five a day, then you might just be okay with four a day," said Leifert.

The research project included growing both organic and conventional test crops of fruits and vegetables. They also reared cattle on a 725-acre site at Nafferton Farm, Northumberland.

The research will also assist organic farmers to improve their quality and farming methods with a better understanding of how the nutritional quality of produce is affected by agricultural methods.

The question is: will this project, also known as "Quality Low Input Food project", end years of debate and overturn Government advice that eating organic food is no more than a "lifestyle choice"? The Food Standards Agency has confirmed it will be reviewing the evidence from the research and considering whether to change its advice.

The Soil association, a leading representative of the organic producers, is hoping that this latest research could help to contribute to a "seismic" change in the food industry. The final results of the project will be published over the next 12 months.

 About the author Katherine Oosthuis manages and writes for a health and nutrition website Detox For Life . Her passion is to make research available to those who are looking to improve their well-being and revolutionise their health through better nutrition and alternative medicines.

For the full terms of usage of this material, visit www.NewsTarget.com/terms.shtml

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deich
post Dec 1 2007, 02:03 PM



I don't see any references to any scientific studies. This sounds like hocus. I know how these organic foods are grown. Many of my neighbors grow them and I will not eat them. I think the general public has gotten to far away from the farm and they don't know what they are talking about. They just like to scare people into spending extra money on things that are not necessary or they just like to jump on the latest bandwagon. I'm afraid there will be a huge outbreak of bacteria because of organic foods, remember the spinach last spring? Did you know this was from an organic farm? Good thing it was spinach and not a better liked product.
Food safety - organic is not as safe.

diana
post Dec 1 2007, 02:07 PM


As I recall the spinach in question was NOT organic. So...I'm impressed that you know how all organic is grown. Must keep you awesomely busy!

As to the science and study part, I think the original article here had science a-plenty. It's out there. But I do agree, we need solid and repeatable science behind our assertions. --d

ladycat
post Dec 1 2007, 02:59 PM


QUOTE (deich @ Dec 1 2007, 09:03 AM) *
remember the spinach last spring? Did you know this was from an organic farm? Good thing it was spinach and not a better liked product.
Food safety - organic is not as safe.

They tested dozens of brands and NONE of the organic ones were tainted. All of the contaminated brands were conventional.


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►►►Come join us at A Fabulously Fun FRIENDLY Christian Forum◄◄◄

Robin
post Dec 1 2007, 04:24 PM


QUOTE (deich @ Dec 1 2007, 10:03 AM) *
Food safety - organic is not as safe.


Exactly how so?

<edited to remove a question: one step at a time>


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InsideOut
post Dec 3 2007, 11:47 AM


QUOTE (deich @ Dec 1 2007, 07:03 AM) *
I'm afraid there will be a huge outbreak of bacteria because of organic foods, remember the spinach last spring? Did you know this was from an organic farm? Good thing it was spinach and not a better liked product.
Food safety - organic is not as safe.



Deich,

Thanks for you participation on the forum. Many good conversations are furthered by "no" positions.

First off, the farm that produced the implicated spinach from the 2006 recall was a conventional crop on farm land that was being placed into transition for organic production. This means they had eliminated the use of chemical fertilizers prohibited under the USDA NOP. This transition period allows crops to be grown but ones that are not organic. The E.coil was found in cattle waste from a nearby dairy operation and in irrigation source water. The most likely cause is poorly treated and filtered irrigation water. Irrigating with sewer water is prohibited by the USDA NOP and this crop would have been considered non-compliant had it been inspected. Since it wasn't Organic, it was not inspected.

There were also several inadequacies noted at the processing plant in their sterilization processing step.

The issue with the spinach was neglect, not Organic production.

As for food safety, most of the domestic organic product rolling through my plant has cleaner micro counts than the conventional products. Sensory attributes also test better. Import crops are hit and miss on both counts.

In my experience, food safety is systemic and typically breaks in the chain are cause by neglect rather than a failure of design.


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House centipedes feed on spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants and other household pests. They kill their prey by injecting venom through their fangs.


Robin
post Dec 3 2007, 12:44 PM


QUOTE (InsideOut @ Dec 3 2007, 07:47 AM) *
As for food safety, most of the domestic organic product rolling through my plant has cleaner micro counts than the conventional products. Sensory attributes also test better. Import crops are hit and miss on both counts.


When you have a few minutes will you please explain micro counts? I'm not as clear on this as I should be.


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InsideOut
post Dec 3 2007, 04:47 PM


QUOTE (Robin @ Dec 3 2007, 05:44 AM) *
When you have a few minutes will you please explain micro counts? I'm not as clear on this as I should be.


Sorry... I'm refering to Microorganisms. Specifically indicator organisms that identify risk of spoilage or possible food safety risks. Aerobic Plate Count, Standard Plate Count, Yeast Count, Mold Counts, Coliform (E. Coli is a member of this group), and Staph. are things we commonly look at. Ocassionally we look for Salmonella and Listeria... But I've never seen issues with those (Praise all holy holies).

Based on statistical sampling protocols, we try to determine what the relative risk of any "chunk" of food by isolating it and analyzing it. Based on what the next step in the food chain is, the micro counts will help determine if any "chunk" of food is fit for that step in the food chain.

EXAMPLE IN Fruit and Vegetables: Low and Negative counts are typically reserved for retail/raw steps. Medium and Negative counts are typically diverted to hot processes/drying/surgaring/salting. High counts and sub-sample positives go to Juice Stock (However... as I've mentioned in previous threads, some processor will not purchase Juice Stock with sub-sample positives).

Organic Lots or "Chunks" typically have lower test values than their conventional counter parts. This is all personal experience (I do not handle leaf greens--I generally avoid un-cooked leaf greens). So I' don't mean to project "expert" status here... but I think personal experience is note worthy.


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House centipedes feed on spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants and other household pests. They kill their prey by injecting venom through their fangs.


Robin
post Dec 3 2007, 07:43 PM


Thanks! It's interesting. I've seen the blueberries that go to juice here; I don't drink blueberry juice.


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diana
post Dec 11 2007, 08:48 PM


QUOTE (InsideOut @ Dec 3 2007, 04:47 PM) *
Organic Lots or "Chunks" typically have lower test values than their conventional counter parts. This is all personal experience (I do not handle leaf greens--I generally avoid un-cooked leaf greens). So I' don't mean to project "expert" status here... but I think personal experience is note worthy.


Are you saying that you don't eat leafy green vegetables raw, as a general rule? --diana (who also thanks you for the good info!)

InsideOut
post Dec 12 2007, 02:04 PM


QUOTE (diana @ Dec 11 2007, 01:48 PM) *
Are you saying that you don't eat leafy green vegetables raw, as a general rule? --diana (who also thanks you for the good info!)


Pretty much.

I will get caught at dinners with a "garden" salad. I'm weary of these but will eat them in group situations. In PDX most restaurant have some local sourcing... If I'm not familiar with the supply chain, I don't get a salad out.

We only eat kale, collards, chard, and spinach at home--all cooked.


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House centipedes feed on spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants and other household pests. They kill their prey by injecting venom through their fangs.


diana
post Dec 12 2007, 02:08 PM


Wow, how long do you have to cook green leafies to get their (potential) internal E. colis out? There are deer in the field where we grow our veggies, and they eat GMO corn, all around us. Deer poop probably isn't all that good for our raw greens, is it? Hmmmm. --d

InsideOut
post Dec 13 2007, 05:05 AM


QUOTE (diana @ Dec 12 2007, 07:08 AM) *
Wow, how long do you have to cook green leafies to get their (potential) internal E. colis out? There are deer in the field where we grow our veggies, and they eat GMO corn, all around us. Deer poop probably isn't all that good for our raw greens, is it? Hmmmm. --d


I'm not a firm follower of the mammal direct contamination theory. I think it is poop and water. Splashing of poop in water then water on crop. This is really a "know the process" issue. If you feel comfortable that your handled the leaves in a way that removes the poop and prevents it from getting into damaged areas of the leaf... You have to be your own advocate.

My anti-raw is mainly directed at public health issues. It is a bias of scale in direct relationship to size.

It only takes a few minutes, enough to wilt the leaves. Spinach is greatly reduced, the winter leave greens maintain some volume. I think heat brings out more flavor in kale and chard. I know so with collards.

out here... winter kale is more tender and sweet than the big, fast growing summer stuff.


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House centipedes feed on spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants and other household pests. They kill their prey by injecting venom through their fangs.


OrganicGeorge
post Dec 15 2007, 12:34 PM


QUOTE (deich @ Dec 1 2007, 07:03 AM) *
I don't see any references to any scientific studies. This sounds like hocus. I know how these organic foods are grown. Many of my neighbors grow them and I will not eat them. I think the general public has gotten to far away from the farm and they don't know what they are talking about. They just like to scare people into spending extra money on things that are not necessary or they just like to jump on the latest bandwagon. I'm afraid there will be a huge outbreak of bacteria because of organic foods, remember the spinach last spring? Did you know this was from an organic farm? Good thing it was spinach and not a better liked product.
Food safety - organic is not as safe.


The Organic Center is the source for organic studies, all papers are pier reviewed by actual PhD scientist.

www.Organic-Center.org

There are some newly released studies from the EU showing that organic food is more nutritious than conventional.

Ohiorganic
post Dec 27 2007, 11:25 AM


Deer eating GMO corn probably has a lot of e-coli 157h7 which is not good. But if your soils are a live and healthy the critters in your soil will likely kill off the e-coli 157 bugs.we humans are a strong lot and can take a lot of microbial attacks on our system. remember we are something like 85% bacteria and other microbes ourselves and to kill off all the "bugs" is to kill off ourselves.