October 6, 2014 4:34 am
A recent study by The Organic Center (TOC), a non-profit associated with the Organic Trade Association, serves to dispel consumer confusion about the benefits of organic. A 2012 Stanford University study claimed that organic foods were no healthier than non-organic, setting off a heated debate on the nutritional value of organic products.
“The nutritional differences between conventional and organic crops have always been a much debated topic,” said Dr. Jessica Shade, Director of Science Programs for TOC. “This significant study reevaluates the issue from a more inclusive, statistically accurate standpoint and strongly shows that organic fruits and vegetables have definite health benefits to conventionally grown products.”
Key findings from the study include:
- Organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 60 percent higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally grown crops. Antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of serious chronic diseases.
- For the millions of health-minded individuals watching their caloric intake, the amount of extra antioxidants one would consume each day by eating the recommended five servings of organic fruits and vegetables would be equal to one to two additional servings of conventionally grown produce.
- Conventional foods are four times more likely to contain pesticide residues than organic foods. Exposure to pesticides has been found to affect brain development, especially in young children, and pose a greater risk for pregnant women and men and women of reproductive age.
- On average, organic crops had 48 percent lower cadmium levels than conventional crops. Cadmium is a highly toxic metal that can cause kidney failure, bone softening and liver damage. It can accumulate in the body, so chronic exposure is dangerous even at low levels.
Published with permission from RISMedia.