Comment »Posted on Saturday 9 August 2008 at 10:46 am by Jacob Aron
In Chemistry

Organic food is becoming ever more popular as people aim for a green and healthy lifestyle, but research by Dr Susanne Bügel and others from the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Copenhagen has found that organic food has no nutritional benefit over food grown with pesticides.

The researchers looked at carrots, kale, mature peas, apples and potatoes using three different farming methods. The first used only organic-approved products such as animal manure, the second added in as much pesticide as allowed by regulation, and the third swapped out the manure for as many fertilisers and pesticides as are legally allowed. The crops were grown side by side at the same time, to alleviate any changes in weather or season that could have affected the result. Dr Bügel said:

‘No systematic differences between cultivation systems representing organic and conventional production methods were found across the five crops so the study does not support the belief that organically grown foodstuffs generally contain more major and trace elements than conventionally grown foodstuffs.’

I’ve always been slightly sceptical of organic food, and cynically thought that there probably wasn’t much difference in some produce when compared to the non-organic variety. On the other hand I’ve also found that organic chicken “tastes better”. I’d like conduct a blind taste test at some point to see if that is actually the case…


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