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Is Organic food really healthier for you?

Posted By GreenChef Staff Monkies On January 12, 2008 @ 9:00 pm In GreenChef Foodie Talk | No Comments

According to new findings, it is. Contrary to what some previous research and skeptics have suggested — that there is no benefit to eating organically grown produce — a 10-year study at the University of California, Davis on organic and conventional tomatoes has shown dramatic differences in the levels of nutrients. The organic tomatoes had 79-97 percent higher levels of the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol — both beneficial antioxidants associated with reducing the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Other research found organic tomatoes have significantly higher levels of lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

So what could make the levels of some nutrients so much higher in organically grown food? Alyson Mitchell, the food chemist who led the research says it can be explained by the availability of nitrogen. Reduced levels of flavonoids are likely due to overfertilisation of conventional fertilizer with high concentrations of inorganic nitrogen.

Another four-year £12m EU-funded investigation on organic farming has found organic food to have up to 40 percent more antioxidants. Organic potatoes, kiwi fruit and carrots were also found to be higher in vitamin C, and organically grown lettuce, spinach and cabbage were found to have higher levels of minerals and antioxidants.

The Food Standards Agency in the UK (FSA) said, “We will be getting a consultancy to carry out a systematic review of the evidence, which will include this latest study.”

So, there you have it. Organic food really is worth it’s extra cost. Not only will choosing organic save the environment, it will also increase your health and prevent pre-mature aging.

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