Organic food has no added nutritional benefit

by Lucy Halfhead

Carrots, Vegetables, Food, Health, Marie Claire Pictures

Expensive organic food is no better for you than conventionally-grown farm produce, according to the Government's food watchdog.
 
In the most comprehensive study ever to be carried out into the nutritional content of organic food compared to ordinary fare, scientists found no significant difference in vitamins and minerals.

A separate study found there are no extra health benefits to eating organic food rather than meat, fruits or vegetables grown on intensive farms.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), which commissioned the research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, concluded there was no reason to buy expensive organic food for nutritional reasons.

The study is likely to come as a blow to the billion-pound industry which is already struggling in the economic downturn as shoppers turn away from more expensive goods. For example, an organic chicken costs three times the price of a more conventionally-reared bird.

But celebrity chefs and organic farmers said the studies failed to take into account the health impact of the ‘cocktail of chemicals’ left on conventional food and the environmental benefits of growing organic food on wildlife-friendly farms. Advocates claim the produce is better for you, with some claiming it can help cure skin conditions, asthma and even cancers.

Dr Alan Dangour, of the LSHTM, who carried out the studies, said: ‘Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.’

Gill Fine, FSA Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health, said there is no need for people to buy highly-priced organic food for the health benefits. ‘The study does not mean that people should not eat organic food. What it shows is there is little, if any, nutritional difference between organic and conventionally produced food and that there is no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic food.’

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