Going organic – is it nutritionally better?

Organic foods have been available for many years as a food option and remains a popular choice for those who can afford it and for those concerned about modern farming methods. It also appeals to those who are concerned about food manufacturing techniques, their environment as well as the nutritional and health benefits of their foods. However, without definitive scientific evidence on the health benefits of organic produce, many people are not convinced that going organic is the healthier option. A lack of proof on such health benefits is more to do with limitations in trial design for a long-term study than conclusive evidence that organic food is no better than conventionally grown food. The main benefits are the lack of use of herbicides and pesticides, and therefore a reduced risk of health conditions and diseases such as cancer associated with those chemicals. Other benefits are that most of the food additives in non-organic foods are not permitted in organic foods therefore a reduced exposure to those especially in children. Importantly, a comparative study on the component mean % increase in organic vs non-organic produce shows significant and substantial increases for organic produce for potassium, calcium and magnesium mineral ions plus a 26% increase in dry matter which means that weight for weight, there are more nutrients in organic foods than those produced by conventional methods or by intensive farming.

Read the full article here: Organic Food PHC 2006

Primary Health Care 2006; 16(3): 37-40rcnpublishing

Primary Health Care Journal is a Royal College of Nursing Publication