French study finds organic foods are healthier

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There has been a debate for many years about whether organic foods are healthier and more nutritious than non organic foods (i.e. foods sprayed with poison). Last month a UK study found that there was no evidence of nutritional superiority of organics. This month there is a French study that shows that there are nutritional benefits to organic. Of course, to organic supporters it is obvious that organic foods are better for you and the environment, the planet, as how does it make sense to spray toxic chemicals all over the food we eat, and in the soil and the water (like are we crazy or something?). So the argument over "nutrition" is all a bit academic. Anyway, the following are the lead paragraphs from an article about the French study:

A new review from France has concluded that there are nutritional benefits to organic produce, on the basis of data compiled for the French food agency AFSSA. The conclusion opposes that of a UK study published last month.

Whether or not organic food brings nutritional benefits over conventional food has been a matter of considerable inquiry and debate. The issue came to a head last month when a study commissioned by the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) concluded that there is no evidence of nutritional superiority.

Now, however, a review published in the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development has said drawn wildly different conclusions.

Author Denis Lairon of the University of Aix-Marseille coordinated an “up-to-date exhaustive and critical evaluation of the nutritional and sanitary quality of organic food” for AFSSA, which was originally published in 2003. The new review is based on this, as well as the findings of new studies published in the intervening years.

Lairon concluded that organic plant products contain more dry matter and minerals – such as iron and magnesium – and more antioxidant polyphenols like phenols and salicylic acid. Data on carbohydrate, protein and vitamin levels are insufficiently documented, he said.

© 2014 Down to Earth Organic & Natural

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