Is Organic Food Better for You?

Study Outlines Benefits of Eating Organic Foods

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
April 23, 2021

Is eating organic food worth the price? Does it have more nutrition than conventional food? A landmark study from Newcastle University helps inform consumers.

Platter of fresh organic cherries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes and blueberries. Is Organic Food Better for You?


No surprise, but good news. A comprehensive study from Newcastle University in Great Britain confirms that organic food is better for you and the world. Using meta analysis, an advanced statistical technique, the international science team reviewed 343 individual food studies and found that organic crops contain significantly more healthy antioxidants and have dramatically lower pesticide levels than conventionally grown crops.

Benefits of Antioxidants in Organic Food

Antioxidants inhibit oxidation, which can damage cells in the human body. Excessive oxidation is implicated in diseases such as cancer and chronic inflammation. The antioxidants found in organic produce, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, polyphenols and carotenoids, limit oxidation. With more antioxidants than conventional produce, organic fruits and vegetables offer protective health benefits.

The Problem with Pesticides

Bee on flower. Is Organic Food Better for You?Pesticides, chemicals applied to crops to kill plant-damaging insects, are a mainstay of conventional industrial agriculture. However, scientific studies cite pesticides as prime suspects in the dramatic decline of beneficial insects such as bees, and other wildlife. Pesticides accumulate in the food chain. These pesticides may be a significant factor in a variety of human diseases.

In addition, the harmful effects of pesticides can continue over several generations, even after exposure has ended. For example, researchers at Washington State University reported that exposure to agricultural pesticides in well water created harmful disease effects in children who have never been directly exposed. Organic crops, grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, avoid these problems.

10 Reasons to Eat Organic Foods

So why eat organic? Unlike conventional produce, certified organic foods are not treated with herbicides, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics, or ionizing radiation. Organic farming practices and organic food not only benefit you, but society in general:

• Eating organic helps reduce your body’s toxic load.

• Organic foods are non GMO (not genetically modified).

• Organic crops offer more nutrition than conventionally-grown crops. Organic foods have higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants.

• Eating organic builds the economy and encourages more farmers to grow organically.

• Organic farming encourages crop diversity as a natural strategy to reduce insect losses. Diversity in agriculture and in eating help maintain healthy farms and healthy bodies. Maintaining diversity in the environment builds climate change resilience.

• Organic cropping practices reduce soil erosion and build sustainable soil fertility.

• By avoiding pesticides, organic farming helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

• Organic farming protects water quality from chemical runoff into lakes, rivers and oceans.

• Organic farming protects the health of farm workers from pesticide exposure.

• Organic agriculture builds a food culture that preserves traditional varieties and enhances the qualities of our lives.

Organic food is the fastest growing sector of the Canadian food market.*
• Canada’s organic market is worth over $6.9 billion a year.
• Canada has approximately 7,500 certified organic operations.
• 66% of all British Columbians buy organic groceries each week.

* from Quick Facts about Organic in Canada.  Canada Organic Trade Association, 2020.

Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map

Search for “certified organic” and “grown without pesticides” farms on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island.


More articles:
Tests Reveal Benefits of Eating OrganicTests Reveal Benefits of Eating Organic

Pesticide Free? A Low-Cost Way to Detect Pesticides in FoodPesticide Free? A Low-Cost Way to Detect Pesticides in the Food We Eat

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