organic food is better than conventionally raised food

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organic food


in the debate over whether organic food is better than conventionally raised food, advocates for organic produce say it contains fewer harmful chemicals and is better for the earth, and some claim that it is more nutritious.

and recent preliminary evidence suggests that the levels of certain nutrients, especially vitamin c, some minerals and some polyphenols – naturally occurring antioxidants that may help bolster the immune system – are higher in organically grown crops.

as a result of this preliminary evidence and the agriculture department’s adoption in 2000 of standards for organic foods, the organic trade association has created the nonprofit center for organic education and promotion to finance research that could verify what small-scale research may suggest: organic food may provide greater health benefits than conventional food.

“we want to take the knowledge to the next level until there is a solid body of research that we can stand behind,” said katherine dimatteo, executive director of the association. “there needs to be more rigor.”

a study in the january 2003 journal of agricultural and food chemistry found 52 percent more ascorbic acid, or vitamin c, in frozen organic corn than in conventional corn, and 67 percent more in corn raised by sustainable methods – a combination of organic and conventional farming. polyphenols were significantly higher in organic and sustainable marionberries compared to conventionally farmed ones.

a three-year study in italy, reported in the august 2002 issue of the same journal, found higher levels of polyphenols in organic peaches and pears, and about 8 percent more ascorbic acid in organic peaches.

and a study in the february 2002 european journal of nutrition found more salicylic acid in organic vegetable soup than in nonorganic soup. salicylic acid is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin, and bolsters the immune system.

critics say these studies were poorly done, are biased and dealt with tiny differences in nutrients.

alex avery, director of research and education at the center for global food issues at the hudson institute, who frequently disputes claims for the positive health benefits of organic farming, said the marionberry and corn study did not involve proper statistical analysis and that the data came from a single year and a single farm.

“this is a very, very shaky basis, given the differences that can occur,” mr. avery said.

dr. diane barrett of the university of california at davis, a researcher on the study, said: “we acknowledge it’s very preliminary data.” she added: “it was a real-life look at what happens in a grower’s field. we did not expect such differences among organic, sustainable and conventional farming. we see it as an open door to doing more controlled studies at the university.”

charles benbrook, former executive director of the board on agriculture at the national academy of sciences, who is a consultant on the impact of agricultural systems and technology on food safety and the environment, said the study’s conclusions were not surprising.

“this study extends and reinforces findings in earlier research,” he said, referring to reports indicating that when plants are not treated with pesticides and are attacked by insects their levels of antioxidants rise to limit damage.

“but it is new because it uses different crops under different circumstances. the study may have flaws, but it is a legitimate study.”

mr. avery said the italian study showed very little difference in nutrient levels. “i don’t think you are going to find any health differences,” he said.

and while scientists emphasize the importance of polyphenols and other antioxidants, particularly because they might help fight cancer, mr. avery said: “no one has a clue how much phenolics anyone needs to consume. anyone who claims nutritional benefits from higher or lower phenolics doesn’t understand.”

dr. john reganold, a professor of soil science at washington state university, who has conducted research with organic farming systems systems, described the italian study as good, and said the results were valid. the higher levels of vitamin c, mr. reganold said, are “biologically significant.”

in 2001, the soil association of england, which sets organic standards, asked shane heaton, a nutritionist, to analyze available studies on nutrient differences between organically and conventionally grown food.

he looked at 99 studies and discarded 70 because, he said, they examined growers who did not use certified organic practices, did not make relevant comparisons or were of insufficient duration.cek material harga besi pipa baja hitam material bangunan

he found that in 14 studies of minerals, 7 showed a “trend toward mineral contents” in organic foods, while 6 showed inconclusive or inconsistent results and 1 showed a higher mineral content for nonorganics. for vitamin c, 7 of 13 studies showed significantly higher levels in organics; they ranged from 6 percent to 100 percent. six of the studies showed inconsistent or insignificant differences.

mr. avery said mr. heaton’s study was tainted because of the soil association’s interests.

“a number of research trials time and time again have not found any significant differences,” he said. “you need very large, carefully designed and carefully controlled studies to prove that there is a difference because of large natural variability.”

pressed to be more specific, mr. avery whose organization has received financing from monsanto, dowelanco and the ag-chem equipment company, which are involved in conventional agriculture and biotechnology, did not offer further criticism.

mr. heaton said other researchers had reviewed his work and said it demonstrated “important differences between organic and nonorganic produce.”

dr. joseph rosen, a professor of food science at rutgers, said the conclusions of the studies mr. heaton had focused on were less consistent than mr. heaton had claimed.mari buktikan distributor besi pipa baja sch 4o yang bagus

dr. rosen said there were only two studies on phytonutrients – naturally occurring antioxidants – and only one showed higher levels in organic food.

actually, there are five studies in mr. heaton’s report; four of them showed significant difference in phytonutrients.

dr. marion nestle, chairwoman of the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at new york university, said that because there is so much variation in the soil, the amount of sun and rainfall, “it is difficult to compare findings of different studies.”

but she said of mr. heaton’s study: “the investigators have gone to a lot of trouble, and there is no reason to disbelieve it.” his findings, she said, “are consistent with studies coming out now on nutrients, phytochemicals and pesticides.”

the debate is far from resolved.

organic foods, mr. avery said, “are clearly no safer, no more nutritious, no more healthful – there are zero advantages for consumers.”

dr. nestle said, “i don’t think there is any question that as more research is done, it is going to become increasingly apparent that organic food is healthier.”


organics for your health

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organics for health
here’s some of the evidence that sir john krebs, head of uk’s food standards agency refuses to acknowledge in his persistent denigration of organic agriculture.

less chemical residues

a comprehensive soil association review of scientific research has shown that, on average, organic food is better for us than non-organic food (1). first, it is safer, as organic farming prohibits routine pesticide and herbicide use, so chemical residues are rarely found. in contrast, non-organic food is likely to be contaminated with residues that often occur in potentially dangerous combinations. the british society for allergy, environmental and nutritional medicine states on the back cover of the report: “we have long believed the micronutrient deficiencies common in our patients have their roots in the mineral-depletion of soils by intensive agriculture, and suspect that pesticide exposures are contributing to the alarming rise in allergies and other illnesses” (italics added).

the negative effects of pesticides on health include neurotoxicity, disruption of the endocrine system, carcinogenicity and immune system suppression. the impacts of dietary exposure to pesticide residues at levels typically found in and on food are less easy to establish, but a precautionary approach is necessary. while there are recommended safety levels for pesticides, the uk government’s own tests have shown that average residue levels on foods may be under-reported.

research has also suggested that pesticide exposure affects male reproductive function, resulting in decreased fertilising ability of the sperm and reduced fertilisation rates (2). correspondingly, members of a danish organic farmers’ association, whose intake of organic dairy products was at least 50% of total intake of dairy products, had high sperm density (3).  in another study, sperm concentration was 43.1% higher among men eating organically produced food (4).

children, in particular, may stand to benefit from organic food.

scientists monitored preschool children in seattle, washington to assess their exposure to organophosphorus (op) pesticide from diet (5). the total dimethyl metabolite concentration was approximately six times higher for children with conventional diets than those with organic diets. the calculated dose estimates suggest that consumption of organic fruits, vegetables and juice can reduce children’s exposure levels from above to below the us environmental protection agency’s guidelines, thereby shifting exposures from a range of uncertain risk to a range of negligible risk. the study concluded that consumption of organic produce could be a relatively simple way for parents to reduce children’s exposure to op pesticides.

healthier and more nutritious

additionally, organic food production bans the use of artificial food additives such as hydrogenated fats, phosphoric acid, aspartame and monosodium glutamate, which have been linked to health problems as diverse as heart disease, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity (1). furthermore, while plants extract a wide range of minerals from the soil, artificial fertilisers replace only a few principal minerals. there is a clear long-term decline in the trace mineral content of fruit and vegetables, and the influence of farming practices needs to be investigated more thoroughly. the soil association review (1) found that on average, organic food has higher vitamin c, higher mineral levels and higher phytonutrients – plant compounds that can fight cancer (see later) – than conventional food.

conventional produce also tends to contain more water than organic produce, which contains more dry matter (on average, 20% more) for a given total weight (1). thus, the higher cost of fresh organic produce is partly offset by purchasers of conventional produce paying for the extra weight of water and getting only 83% of the nutrients, on average, available in organic produce. the higher water content also tends to dilute nutrient content.

tests with people and animals eating organic food show it makes a real difference to health, and alternative cancer therapies have achieved good results relying on the exclusive consumption of organic food. the review (1) cites recent clinical evidence from doctors and nutritionists administering “alternative” cancer treatments, who have observed that a completely organic diet is essential for a successful outcome.

nutritional cancer therapies avoid pollutants and toxins as much as possible, and promote exclusive consumption of organically grown foods and increases in nutrient intakes. animal feeding trials have also demonstrated better reproductive health, better growth, and better recovery from illness.

a literature review of 41 studies and 1 240 comparisons (6) found statistically significant differences in the nutrient content of organic and conventional crops. this was attributed primarily to differences in soil fertility management and its effects on soil ecology and plant metabolism. organic crops contained significantly more nutrients -vitamin c, iron, magnesium and phosphorus – and significantly less nitrates (a toxic compound) than conventional crops. there were non-significant trends showing less protein in organic crops. however, organic crops were of a better quality and had higher content of nutritionally significant minerals, with lower amounts of some heavy metals compared to conventional ones.

helping fight cancer

plant phenolics (flavonoids) are plant secondary metabolites thought to protect plants against insect predation, bacterial and fungal infection and photo-oxidation. these plant chemicals have been found to be effective in preventing cancer and heart disease, and to combat age-related neurological dysfunctions. a recent scientific paper (7, 8) compared the total phenolic (tp) content of marionberries, strawberries and corn grown by organic and other sustainable methods with conventional agricultural practices. statistically higher levels of tps were consistently found in organically and sustainably grown foods as compared to those produced by conventional agriculture.

an earlier study comparing antioxidant compounds in organic and conventional peaches and pears established that an improvement in the antioxidant defence system of the plants occurred as a consequence of organic cultivation practices (9). this is likely to exert protection against fruit damage when grown in the absence of pesticides. hence organic agriculture, which eliminates the routine use of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilisers, could create conditions favourable to the production of health-enhancing plant phenolics.

these and many other health benefits of organic foods have been brought to the attention of the uk government (10, 11). among the issues raised are the hidden costs of conventional agriculture, which are not factored into the price. if hidden costs were taken into account, conventionally produced food would prove more expensive than organic food. for example, avoidance of the bse epidemic through organic farming would have saved $4.5 billion. no animal born and raised on an organic farm developed bse in the uk.

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organic food has more of the antioxidant

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note that the expert who provides quotes downplaying the importance of the research is tom sanders, professor of nutrition at king’s college london. sanders has been described in the press as a former consultant to nutrasweet.

organic food has more of the antioxidant compounds linked to better health than regular food, and lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides, according to the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date.

sanders has made a name for himself defending the artificial sweetener aspartame in the press and attacking the research studies of dr arpad pusztai and prof ge seralini, which both found toxic effects from feeding gm foods to rats.

excerpt item 1 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.

1. clear differences between organic and nonorganic food, study finds
2. new study finds significant differences between organic and nonorganic food
1. clear differences between organic and nonorganic food, study finds
damian carrington and george arnett

research is first to find wideranging differences between organic and conventional fruits, vegetables, and cereals

organic food has more of the antioxidant compounds linked to better health than regular food, and lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides, according to the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date.

the international team behind the work suggests that switching to organic fruit and vegetables could give the same benefits as adding one or two portions of the recommended five a day.

the team, led by prof carlo leifert at newcastle university, concludes that there are statistically significant, meaningful differences, with a range of antioxidants being substantially higher between 19% and 69% in organic food. it is the first study to demonstrate clear and wideranging differences between organic and conventional fruits, vegetables, and cereals.

the researchers say the increased levels of antioxidants are 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.

the findings will bring to the boil a longsimmering row over whether those differences mean organic food is better for people, with one expert calling the work sexed up.

tom sanders, a professor of nutrition at king’s college london, said the research did show some differences. but the question is are they within natural variation? and are they nutritionally relevant? i am not convinced.

he said leifert’s work had caused controversy in the past. leifert has had a lot of aggro with a lot of people. he is oversexing [this report] a bit. sanders added the research showed organic cereals have less protein than conventional crops.

the research was peerreviewed and is published in a respected scientific journal, the british journal of nutrition. it was due to be released next week, but has appeared on several academic websites.

the results are based on an analysis of 343 peerreviewed studies from around the world more than ever before which examine differences between organic and conventional fruit, vegetables, and cereals.

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.

uk sales of organic food, which is often considerably more expensive than nonorganic, are recovering after a slump during the economic crisis.

plants produce many of their antioxidant compounds to fight back against pest attacks, so the higher levels in organic crops may result from their lack of protection by chemical sprays. but the scientists say other reasons may be important, such as organic varieties being bred for toughness and not being overfed with artificial fertilisers.

leifert and his colleagues conclude that many antioxidants have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers. but they also note that no longterm studies showing health benefits from a broad organic diet have yet been conducted.

the researchers found much higher levels of cadmium, a toxic metal, in conventional crops. pesticide residues were found on conventional crops four times more often than on organic food. the research was funded by the eu and an organic farming charity.

the research is certain to be criticized; the inclusion of so many studies in the analysis could mean poor quality work skews the results, although the team did sensitivity analyses and found that excluding weaker work did not significantly change the outcome.

also, the higher levels of cadmium and pesticides in conventional produce were still well below regulatory limits. but the researchers say cadmium accumulates over time in the body and that some people may wish to avoid this, and that pesticide limits are set individually, not for the cocktail of chemicals used on crops.

a further criticism is that the differences seen may result from different climate, soil types, and crop varieties, and not from organic farming, though the researchers argue that combining many studies should average out these other differences.

the greatest criticism, however, will be over the suggestions of potential health benefits. the most recent major analysis, which took in 223 studies in 2012, found little evidence. the published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods, it found.

this was also the conclusion of earlier, smaller studies published in 2009 in a scientific journal and by the uk food standards agency pdf, though the latter considered just 11 studies. the 2012 study did note that eating organic food might help people avoid pesticide residues.

sanders said he was not persuaded by the new work. you are not going to be better nourished if you eat organic food, he said. what is most important is what you eat, not whether it’s organic or conventional. it’s whether you eat fruit and vegetables at all. people are buying into a lifestyle system. they get an assurance it is not being grown with chemicals and is not grown by big business.

he added that organic farming did help to address the significant problem in the uk of soil degradation and excess fertiliser polluting rivers.

soil association polling pdf shows healthy eating 55% and avoiding chemical residues 53% are key reasons cited by shoppers for buying organic produce.

but many also say care for the environment 44% and animal welfare 31% are important, as is taste 35%.

browning said this research backs up what people think about organic food. in other countries there has long been much higher levels of support and acceptance of the benefits of organic food and farming. we hope these findings will bring the uk in line with the rest of europe.
2. new study finds significant differences between organic and nonorganic food
in the largest study of its kind, an international team of experts led by newcastle university, uk, has proved that organic crops and cropbased foods are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionallygrown crops.

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 12 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 conventionallygrown 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 analyse the data

this is the most extensive analysis of the nutrient content in organic vs conventionallyproduced foods ever undertaken and is the result of a groundbreaking new systematic literature review and metaanalysis by the international team.

the findings contradict those of a 2009 uk food standards agency fsa commissioned study which found there were no substantial differences or significant nutritional benefits from organic food.

the fsa commissioned study based its conclusions on only 46 publications covering crops, meat and dairy, while newcastle led metaanalysis is based on data from 343 peerreviewed publications on composition difference between organic and conventional crops now available.

the main difference between the two studies is time, explains professor leifert, who is professor of ecological agriculture at newcastle university.

research in this area has been slow to take off the ground and we have far more data available to us now than five years ago.bangunan pabrik harga besi wf baja yang dapat digunakan untuk membangun pabrik makanan

dr gavin stewart, a lecturer in evidence synthesis and the metaanalysis expert in the newcastle team, added the much larger evidence base available in this synthesis allowed us to use more appropriate statistical methods to draw more definitive conclusions regarding the differences between organic and conventional crops

what the findings mean

the study, started under the european sixth framework programme project qualitylowinputfood and completed with funding from the sheepdrove trust, found that concentrations of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were between 1869% higher in organicallygrown crops.

numerous studies have linked antioxidants to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.

substantially lower concentrations of the toxic heavy metal cadmium were also detected in organic crops on average 48% lower.contoh dalam material bangunan seperti ini bisa didapatkan dari berbagai jenis besi yang bisa dilihat di distributor besi siku baja untuk membangun pabrik makanan yang sehat dan higienis juga berkwalitas

nitrogen concentrations were found to be significantly lower in organic crops. concentrations of total nitrogen were 10%, nitrate 30% and nitrite 87% lower in organic compared to conventional crops. the study also found that pesticide residues were four times more likely to be found in conventional crops than organic ones.

professor leifert added the organic vs nonorganic debate has rumbled on for decades now but the evidence from this study is overwhelming that organic food is high in antioxidants and lower in toxic metals and pesticides.

but this study should just be a starting point. we have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional crops, now there is an urgent need to carry out wellcontrolled human dietary intervention and cohort studies specifically designed to identify and quantify the health impacts of switching to organic food.