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2014-07-28

New Study: Organic vs. Conventional Foods

The question of whether organically-grown foods offer any nutritional benefit has been hotly debated for many years. In my opinion, this is an issue "developed" by Big Agri and the biotech industries to shift focus from the central environmental issues, and focus on vitamins and mineral content. Of course, one would logically think that organic foods--based on the fact they improve soil conditions--would be more nutritionally sound, but the research has not be convincing (mind you, if you're just looking at vitamins and minerals, your overlooking the 100s of other beneficial compounds in the food).

Regardless, this new analysis does show that that there are significant nutritional and health benefits from eating organic foods. It's important to point out these results are direct benefits, and doesn't even consider the health/destruction of the environment, which is also a big determinant of human health.

The study shows significantly lower cadmium concentrations in cereals. While cadmium levels are dependent on the soil in which the plant is grown, it's conceivable that pesticides may have a high level of cadmium contamination. Results also found that concentrations of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were between 18-69% higher in organically-grown crops. Logically, pesticide residues were also four times more likely to be found in conventional crops than organic ones, they said.

While cost for organic foods have come down due to increasing supply and demand, if you're not yet eating organic because of the cost, you can at least start with the "dirty dozen." Personally, you can't put a cost on health, so unless you're living in poverty you can afford it. Many people dump money into renovating their house, or driving a nice fancy car, or buying brand name clothing, etc. None of these things really matter. Your health, however, does.

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Source: Higher antioxidant concentrations and less cadmium and pesticide residues in organically-grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses

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