Toa world raised on conventional foods and thinking, scientists and consumers alikehave been touting the nutritional value and overall healthfulness of organics. And as a new study reveals more insight into the value of organics, thosewho before avoided the truthare once again forced to as the question: Is organic food really inherently healthier thanconventionally grown?
Yes. Here’s how.
Higher Omega-3’s In Organics
After reviewing over 150 papers on organic vs. non-organic meat and dairy products, a group of 25 scientists published their findings inthe British Journal of Nutritiononthevery clear differences between the two.
What they found throughout their study was that the amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in organic meat and dairy products are consistently about twice as abundant in organic as opposed to non-organic. They found that organic milk products have on average 56% more omega-3’s, while organic meats have around 47% more.
Omega-3’splay a role ina wide variety of functions in the body. Because of their apparent ability to help the heart beat at a steady rhythm, having an adequate intake of omega-3’s can helpreduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. They also help to lower blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, and in higher doses can ease inflammation, therefor lowering the risk ofatherosclerosis.
“Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients” –Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University
Considering that the human brain is made up mainly of omega-3 fatty acids, having ahigherintake of thisimportantfatty acid gives a much more positive impact onneurologicalfunction and developmentthan a lower intake.
Organic Food Provides More Antioxidants
Asimilar studythat was also published in the British Journal of Nutrition leads us to the same conclusions, but with different evidence.
This previous study, which also found clear differences between organics and non-organics, was the precursor to the more recent study on dairy & meats, and further supportsthe pro-organics argument. After reviewing 343 studies on ‘the compositional differences between organic and conventional crops’, the team of 18 found that switching to organic fruit, vegetables, and cereal wouldprovide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Fruits and vegetables are typically rich in antioxidants which can prevent or delay certain types of cell damage. Because of their ability to interact with and neutralize free radicals,observational
Selenium, lycopene, lutein, and vitamins A, C, and E are allantioxidants.
Lower Levels of Pesticides And Other Harmful Compounds
Not surprisingly, the same study found further differences betweenthe two types of foods. Differences in nitrogen levels between the twowere foundto bequite large. Concentrations of nitrites were 87%, nitrates 30%, and nitrogen 10% lower in organic crops.
Pesticides, such as Monsanto’s carcinogenic glyphosate, were another harmful compound which had lower concentrations in organic produce, leveling at 400%more likely to be found in conventional crops than organic ones!
Heavy metals, which can be very destructive to the body, were also found in higher concentrations in non-organic produce. Cadmium, which is one of just three heavy metals along with lead and mercurythat hasamaximumcontamination levelin foods set by the European Commission, was shown to be almost 50% less prevalent in organic crops than conventionally grown ones.
In a world filled with unnatural toxins and nearly ever-increasingillness, thedemandfor truly natural and healthy foods isgaining momentum.By choosing to eat organic, we are not only makingthe decisionto livehappier and healthier lives ourselves, but are inspiring others to do the same and to learn about the nature of our food supply. The age of organic is here, but only you can make the difference in going from a world of illness to a world ofhealth.