A four-year study called the Quality Low Input Food (QLIF) project, found that organic food is significantly more nutritious than ordinary produce, and can help improve your health and longevity. The study involved 33 academic centers across Europe is the largest of its kind, and lasted four years.
The QLIF study findings include:
- Organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants, which cut the risk of heart disease and cancer
- Organic produce had higher levels of important minerals, including iron and zinc
- Milk from organic herds contained up to 90 percent more antioxidants
Another study from the University of California, Davis compared conventional to organic kiwifruit. The organic kiwifruit had:
- Significantly higher levels of polyphenols, the healthy compounds found in red wine and colored berries
- Higher overall antioxidant activity
- Higher levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
- Higher levels of important minerals
A 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, found that organically grown foods are higher in cancer fighting chemicals than conventionally grown foods.
A 2005 study by a team of European scientists found that rats that ate organic food were much healthier than those that ate conventional diets, with health benefits including:
- Improved immune system status
- Better sleeping habits
- Less weight and were slimmer than rats fed other diets
- Higher vitamin E content in their blood
In March 2007, three independent European research projects found that organic tomatoes, peaches and processed apples all had higher nutritional quality than non-organic.
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And one other thing…
Organic produce is not only pesticide-free, but it is grown in soil that is fertilized with compost, which contains about 60 different soil minerals and trace elements. We get our minerals from food, which needs to be bioavailable or easily absorbable. Minerals activate enzymes and hormones that regulate our body functions and are essential for health and vitality.
So what are you to do?
Look, not everyone can afford organic food. So what should you do? Be aware that there’s a descending order of what’s good and bad:
- Conventional butter has the highest concentration of pesticides.
- Conventional meats have higher concentrations of pesticides than fruits and vegetables
- Some fruits and vegetables are “cleaner” than others.
- So: if you can only afford one organic item, make it organic butter. If you can afford organic meats, do so. Finally, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit organization that updates and annually publishes a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which is a list of what they call the “Clean 15” and the “Dirty Dozen.” Check it out to learn what to avoid and what you can purchase with peace of mind.