Large Study Finds Antioxidants, Vitamins & Minerals Are “Substantially” Higher In Organic Food By Arjun Walia for Natural Blaze
- The Facts: A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition outlines a significant difference in nutritional content when it comes to organic food compared to non-organic food.
- Reflect On: Are the justifications used to to spray our crops actually justified? Are they really necessary or can we figure out a better way of doing things?
It has long been argued that there is no difference in nutritional content between organic crops and conventional crops. However, it’s turning out that this assumption simply isn’t true. It’s no secret that more consumers are seeking organically grown food, coming from the perception that the pesticides sprayed on conventional crops are harmful to human health. But what does the science say?
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition carried out a meta-analysis based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate “statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop based foods.”
The study found that the concentrations of “a range of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were found to be substantially higher in organic crops/crop based foods, with those of crop-based foods, with those of phenolic acids, ﬂavanones, stilbenes, ﬂavones, ﬂavonols and anthocyanins being an estimated 19 (95 % CI 5, 33) %, 69 (95 % CI 13, 125) %, 28 (95 % CI 12, 44) %, 26 (95 % CI 3, 48) %, 50 (95 % CI 28, 72) % and 51 (95 % CI 17, 86) % higher, respectively.”
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In layman’s terms, the study found that Phenolic acids are 19% higher in organic foods, Flavanones are 69% higher in organic foods (linked to reduced risk of several age-related chronic diseases), Stilbenes are 28% higher in organic foods, Flavones are 26% higher in organic foods, Flavonol is 50% higher in organic foods and Anthocyanins are 51% higher in organic foods.
Substantial Health Benefits
The higher concentration of all of these compounds in organic foods brings with it substantial health benefits. The authors note that many of these compounds have been linked to a reduced risk of a variety of diseases like cancers, CVD, and neurodegenerative disorders to name a few.
Apart from nutritional content, the study also measured for concentrations of the toxic metal Cadmium (Cd), finding that in conventional foods, “significantly higher concentrations” were found. Conventional foods appear to have nearly 50 percent more of this heavy metal than organic foods. Furthermore, significant differences were also detected for other minerals and vitamins.