The biggest review on conventional vs organic foods has found conclusively that organic food is richer in the nutrients that matter to human health.
“This study is telling a powerful story of how organic plant-based foods are nutritionally superior and deliver bona fide health benefits. Our results are highly relevant and significant and will help both scientists and consumers sort through the often conflicting information currently available on the nutrient density of organic and conventional plant-based foods”
Dr. Charles Benbrook, Professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, September 2014.
The Newcastle University 2014 meta-analysis was based on 343 peer-reviewed research publications on organically grown foods compared to commercial crops.
- Organic crops contain an average of 17% more antioxidants
- Some had 60% higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds
- Flavanones were 69% higher in organics
- Overall levels of pesticides were up to 100 times lower in organic food
The key finding here is that organic foods contained much higher concentrations of the really important health-promoting compounds, the antioxidant polyphenolics; phenolic acids, flavanones, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols and anthocyanins.
“In conclusion, organic crops, on average, have higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower concentrations of Cd and a lower incidence of pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators across regions and production seasons”
Study by Barański M, Srednicka-Tober D, Volakakis N, Seal C, Sanderson R, Stewart GB, Benbrook C, Biavati B, Markellou E, Giotis C, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Rembiałkowska E, Skwarło-Sońta K, Tahvonen R, Janovská D, Niggli U, Nicot P, Leifert C “Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses” as published in the British Journal of Nutrition September 2014;112(5):794-811. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514001366.