Sunday, August 31, 2014

Organic Foods Contain More Antioxidants

Back in 2012, a comprehensive meta-analysis of many previous studies concluded that in terms of nutrition, organic foods are generally no better for you than non-organic foods (this blog Sept. 6, 2012). Of course, that didn’t sit too well with supporters of the organic food movement. Well finally, proponents of organic foods have something to talk about, too. Another comprehensive meta-analysis, this one by primarily European researchers, concludes that organic foods have fewer pesticides and more antioxidants than non-organic foods.

The finding of fewer pesticides is to be expected, of course, since the pesticides they’re talking about aren’t supposed to be used on organically grown crops in the first place. The same was found in the previous nutritional study. The finding that organic foods contain more antioxidants will be welcomed by supporters of organic foods. As you may know, antioxidants are thought to be protective against cell damage, and hence could (in theory) assist in delaying cellular aging and possibly reducing the risk of cancer.

Unfortunately, “in theory” does not always coincide with “in reality”. Neither group of authors is claiming that eating organic foods actually leads to better health, because at the moment there is no evidence to support such a claim. If its better health we want, we should concentrate on eating more fruits and vegetables of either kind (organic or non-organic) according to our preference, and less refined sugar and fat.

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