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    Largest ever study of its kind finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food

    mudra
    mudra

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    Largest ever study of its kind finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food Empty Largest ever study of its kind finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food

    Post  mudra on Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:06 pm

    Largest ever study of its kind finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food

    The largest ever study of its kind has found significant differences between organic food and conventionally-grown crops. Organic food contains almost 70% more antioxidants and significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals.

    Largest ever study of its kind finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food 1414

    Analysing 343 studies into the differences between organic and conventional crops, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, found that a switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals – and food made from them – would provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

    The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, also shows significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals in organic crops. Cadmium – one of only three metal contaminants along with lead and mercury for which the European Commission has set maximum permitted contamination levels in food – was found to be almost 50% lower in organic crops than conventionally-grown ones.

    Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the study, says: “This study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals. This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting.”

    New methods used to analyse the data

    This is the most extensive analysis of the nutrient content in organic vs conventionally-produced foods ever undertaken and is the result of a groundbreaking new systematic literature review and meta-analysis by the international team.

    The findings contradict those of a 2009 UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) commissioned study, which found there were no substantial differences or significant nutritional benefits from organic food. The FSA study based its conclusions on just 46 publications covering crops, meat and dairy, while Newcastle led meta-analysis is based on data from 343 peer-reviewed publications on composition difference between organic and conventional crops now available.

    “The main difference between the two studies is time,” explains Professor Leifert, who is Professor of Ecological Agriculture at Newcastle University. “Research in this area has been slow to take off the ground and we have far more data available to us now than five years ago.”

    Dr Gavin Stewart, a Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis and the meta-analysis expert in the Newcastle team, added: “The much larger evidence base available in this synthesis allowed us to use more appropriate statistical methods to draw more definitive conclusions regarding the differences between organic and conventional crops.”

    What the findings mean

    The study, funded jointly by the European Framework 6 programme and the Sheepdrove Trust, found that concentrations of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were between 18-69% higher in organically-grown crops. Numerous studies have linked antioxidants to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers. Substantially lower concentrations of a range of the toxic heavy metal cadmium were also detected in organic crops (on average 48% lower).

    Nitrogen concentrations were found to be significantly lower in organic crops. Concentrations of total nitrogen were 10%, nitrate 30% and nitrite 87% lower in organic compared to conventional crops. The study also found that pesticide residues were four times more likely to be found in conventional crops than organic ones.

    read on:  Arrow http://www.futuretimeline.net/blog/2014/07/14.htm#.U8RENajq-1J



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