Organic foods have lots to give

By JW Dowey - 14 Jul 2014 7:57:0 GMT
Organic foods have lots to give

The farmers' market is the European solution to locally-produced and hopefully organic crops for everyman. The farmers and smallholders must be persuaded that the extra pressure of organic produce will result in higher profits. The improved health of the population is our reward; Produce image; Credit: © Shutterstock

When we eat organic food, we pay more to achieve the lack of contamination we seek from various chemicals. The effect of more antioxidant compounds and lower cadmium and pesticide concentrations in the organic foods has now been found to be more profound.

Professor Carlo Leifert and his vast mix of international colleagues from Newcastle University, UK, Washington State University, USA, and many universities throughout Europe published their significant paper in - the British Journal of Nutrition. The danger is lies in recent papers stating there is no difference between organic and non-organic foods. This thorough review of 343 publications reverses that opinion quite curtly and shows the confidence we have in organics is not misplaced!

Polyphenols, phenolic aids, flavanones, flavanols and flavones, stilbenes and anthocyanins are all "substantially higher" in concentration in organics. The foods based on organic crops also benefit from this raised concentration of anti-oxidants. You ca check the percentages in the paper's abstract. What do these antioxidants do? They are heavily linked to reduced risks of chronic diseases that we currently suffer from such as CVD and neurodegenerative disease, and several cancers.

And the conclusion.? The scientific team here suggest the results of between 19 and 69% higher antioxidant levels are so meaningful that they represent one or two additions to the healthy 5 fruit and veg-a-day recommendations of health experts. So now we can relax with our 7-a-day with no extra effort! If you consider populations in the past and present who lived off the land and had few of the "modern diseases," it tends to make a ot of sense.

Probably just as important would be the dangers in absorbing toxic substances. Cadmium is a heavy metal used in pesticides and found here to be four times more concentrated in non-organic food, along with several other substances. Minerals and vitamins generally were distinctly different in concentration. If farmers use non-mineral fertilizers (ie. organic), the high eves of antioxidant and lack of cadmium seem to be maintained.

Now all that remains is to publicise the importance of this vital information, encourage business to invest in organic farming and, most of all, persuade the farmers themselves to drop the quick fix and seek help on pure organic practice. They already help improve wildlife in so many ways-now they can preserve our health.