New Study Suggests Organic May Be More Nutritious

February 25, 2016

As the popularity of the “organic” label grows, there is an ongoing debate on whether or not organic food products are healthier than conventional ones.  A new meta-analysis study conducted by the British Journal of Nutrition pooling from more than 200 studies found that organic products can boost certain key nutrients in foods.  Another British Journal of Nutrition meta-analysis conducted in 2014, with data from more than 300 studies, found that organic crops have substantially higher concentrations of antioxidants and other potentially beneficial compounds.  Other benefits found in the meta-analysis found that organic crops have lower residues of pesticides and lower concentrations of the metal cadmium which is naturally found in soils.  

The reason why organic crops may have higher concentrations of these nutrients is because organic crops are exposed to higher levels of stress, such as insect attacks.  Whereas a conventional crop receives pesticide sprays in response insect attacks, organic crops must fend for themselves. In response to such stresses, plants release certain compounds, which are in turn thought to be beneficial to human health. 

Skepticism still remains though, and some critics argue that while organic products may have slightly higher levels of certain nutrients, the margins are narrow.  Other past research, including one conducted by Stanford University, found that there was no evidence linking more nutrients to organic produce.  Further, some organic produce may have higher levels of antioxidants but lower levels of vitamins and proteins.

To view an article from NPR, click here.


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