Organic Food is Better for You!

Type: 
Food
author or publications: 
Andre Leu
Description: 

Many people purchase organic food because they believe it is healthier than conventionally grown food. The organic industry is constantly told that there is no evidence to support these claims. This article looks at published information that shows that organic food is substantially healthier than conventional food.

Full Text: 

Andre Leu
Andre has been involved in the organic industry since 1972. He currently owns a certified organic farm in the lower section of the Daintree River valley in North Queensland, Australia. He grows organic tropical fruits from part of the farm, with the balance being retained as tropical rain forest. Andre is the Chair of the Organic Federation of Australia, the peak organisation for the organic industry in Australia He is also chairperson of the Far North Queensland Lychee Growers Association and Vice President of the Australian Lychee Growers Association, where he has the responsibility for developing export markets. Andre runs workshops on organic production in Australia and other countries and teaches horticulture and environment at Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE.

Nutrition

Research published in 2001 showed that the current fruit and vegetables in the USA have about half the vitamin content of their counterparts in 1963. This study was based on comparing published US Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures.1

A scientific study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition in 1993 clearly showed that organic food is more nutritious than conventional food. Organically and conventionally grown apples, potatoes, pears, wheat, and sweet corn were purchased in the western suburbs of Chicago, over two years, and analysed for mineral content. The organically grown food averaged 63% higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc. The organic food averaged 29% lower in mercury than the conventionally raised food.2

A peer reviewed scientific article published in the February 2003 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry stated that organically grown corn, strawberries and marionberries have significantly higher levels of cancer fighting antioxidants than conventionally grown foods. Some of these compounds, such as Flavonoids, are phenolic compounds that have potent antioxidant activities. Many are produced in plants in response to environmental stresses, such as insects or competing plants. They are protective compounds that act as a plant's natural defense and also have protective properties in human and animal health.

The research suggested that pesticides and herbicides disrupt the production of these protective compounds.

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