Organic is better for you (naturally!)

Seems that the scientists have finally proven something that any WWOOFer worth their salt has known, instinctively, for ages! Namely, that organically produced food has more nutritional value than non-organically produced food.

"For a lot of people, organic food has always been their first choice, for a number of reasons. However, before now, it has been hard to find scientific evidence that it may be more nutritionally valuable. Now, with a ground-breaking study from the University of Newcastle on the differences in organic crops compared to conventional farming methods, the key findings speak for themselves:

Farming method affects quality: The analysis is the most extensive and reliable to date and clearly supports the view that the quality of food is influenced by the way it is produced.

More antioxidants: Organic crops (cereals, fruit and vegetables) have significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants/(poly)phenolics compared with non-organic produced counterparts. This includes more phenolics (19% higher), flavanones (69% higher), stilbenes (28% higher), flavones (26% higher), and flavonols (50% higher). A switch to consuming organic crops would allow a 20-40% increase in antioxidant/(poly)phenolics consumption without an increase in calorie intake.

Fewer pesticides: The frequency of occurrence of detectable pesticide residues is four times higher in non-organic crops. Non-organic fruit had the highest pesticide frequency (75%), compared to non-organic vegetables (32%) and non-organic crop based processed foods (45%). By contrast pesticide residues were found in 10% of organic crop samples.

Less cadmium: The analysis detected 48% lower concentrations of the toxic heavy metal cadmium in organic crops.
Less nitrogen: Nitrogen concentrations - linked in some studies to an increased risk of certain cancers such as stomach cancer – were found to be significantly lower in organic crops."

Read more about the study, and where you can find a local organic veg box scheme, here: