Monday, August 3, 2009

Organic versus Conventional - Any Nutritional Difference?

The issue of organic foods versus conventional has been a hot topic of discussion for several years but a new study indicates when it comes to nutrition there is no difference.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reported on a systematic, scientific review of the literature on the issue of nutrition and photochemically content of organic and conventional foods. A systematic, scientific review of the literature is a methodical review of the literature looking for quality studies in an area and then reporting on the overall conclusions.

This study found that the nutritional content of organic and conventional foods was comparable. The report indicated that for 10 of the 13 nutrients analyzed, there were no significant differences between the organic and conventional. The study goes on to say that the differences that were detected were so small that they were likely due to soil, time of year or other continuous variable. The important message from this study is that you can meet your nutritional needs whether you choose convention or organic foods.

While the study was not designed to assess environmental impacts or pesticide usage the authors did state - "Certified organic regimens specify the production of foodstuffs with the strictly controlled use of chemicals and medicines. The potential for any benefits to public and environmental health of these actions would certainly warrant further systematic review..."

“Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review." Dangour AD, Dodhia SK, Hayter A, Allen E, Lock K, Uauy R. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul 29.

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