An analysis of 343 peer-reviewed studies on the nutritional content of organic versus non-organic food concludes that organic produce does indeed contain more nutrients. The meta-study was led by Carlo Leifert, who studies ecological agriculture at Newcastle University, UK, and found that higher levels of “nutritionally desirable” antioxidants are present in organic food. “For example, phenolic acids, flavanones, and flavonols were 19%, 69%, and 50% higher, respectively, in organic produce compared to its conventional counterparts, says the study, which was published today in the British Journal of Nutrition.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Prior to this study, no significant nutritional benefit had been found between organic and conventionally grown food. “A 2009 review…looked at total of 67 studies on the nutritional content and health effects of organic versus conventional produce. This study found no clear nutritional benefits of organic produce over conventionally grown food. Likewise, a review of 237 studies published the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012 also found no significant differences.” Authors of the most recent analysis argue that those papers were too selective in the kinds of studies they were willing to review.