Friday, September 11, 2009

Is it or isn't it? Organic food gets studied. And studied.

There has been a lot of buzz around the UK's Food Standards Agency-sponsored study - actually not a field study but a literature review - released in July, which claimed that organic food was no better, nutritionally, than conventionally-grown. As this article points out, the flaw in the FSA's treatment of the topic was to sidestep the main fact so many people buy organic: to avoid pesticides and agricultural chemicals in our food. COG has a few things to say about the study as well.

People choosing organic are choosing it for a variety of reasons, including faith in organic farming methods, which attend more closely to the longterm health of the soil, water and animals involved. Choose "nutritionally equal" conventionally grown foods and you choose to support farming methods that have been shown to exhaust soil fertility, contaminate water and deplete nonrenewable natural resources that prop up chemical fertilization and pesticide productions.

For the yay-sayers, a new French study contradicts those pesky Englishmen and upholds organics as all-round better, because
organic plant products contain more dry matter and minerals – such as iron and magnesium – and more antioxidant polyphenols like phenols and salicylic acid.
Organic animal products were seen to have more polyunsaturated fats.
Carbohydrate, protein and vitamin levels were not studied because the authors feel they are insufficiently documented. They did look at pesticides though, and found
between 94 and 100 per cent of organic food does not contain any pesticide residues, and organic vegetables have about 50 per cent less nitrates.


Anonymous organic foods said...

The organic foods industry in UK is in a deplorable state. I think they're just trying to shift the public focus elsewhere.

9:33 a.m.  
Anonymous chinaorganicfood said...

The organic food industry in China is growing at a decent rate .

6:29 a.m.  
Blogger Rhona McAdam said...

My only hope is that organics proves to be more than a trend, everywhere -- regardless of what aspect of nutrition gets studied, organic growing methods have such importance to the health of what precious growing land remains in production worldwide.

9:32 a.m.  

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