Peter Melchett, Policy Director, has some important news to share: a ground breaking study due to be published next week in the British Journal of Nutrition will reveal that organic fruit, vegetables and cereals contain significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides.
The research found significant differences, due to the farming system, between organic and non-organic food, such as:
More of the good, less of the bad: Organic crops and processed foods (such as bread, baby food, fruit juice and wine) have more desirable antioxidants/(poly)phenolics and less potentially harmful heavy metal and pesticide residues than their non-organic counterparts.
Reduction in pesticides: Organic food consumption can reduce exposure to synthetic pesticide residues – the study found pesticide residues occur four times more frequently in non-organic compared with organic crops.
Organic IS different: the new study clearly shows that there are meaningful nutritional differences between organic and non-organic food. While 5 a day should be the starting point for everyone, this means that if your daily intake of fruit and veg is organic, you will be eating the equivalent – in anti-oxidant terms – of one or two additional portions of fruit or veg every day! Find out more about why organic crops are different here.
One of the easiest ways to buy organic is to sign up to a local veg box scheme. Find your nearest Soil Association certified local veg box provider on their website to make your five a day really count.
A booklet containing everything you need to know about this organic study is also available to download now from their website.
Although this study is a landmark moment for the Soil Association, there is still more to do – they are faced with the huge challenge of providing better nutrition, for more people, while reducing their impact on the environment and their use of natural resources.
P.S. Peter Melchett will be discussing this exciting research on Sunday 20 July with Tom Heap on Countryfile at 6pm – don’t miss it!
Friday 11 July 2014