Organic foodToday, consumers are ready to pay an exorbitant price for organic foods based on their perceived health and nutrition benefits. However, a novel study led by experts from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have found no evidence for better-quality nutritional content in organic food.

Apparently, previous reviews have claimed that organically produced foods appear to be nutritionally superior as compared with conventionally produced foodstuffs.

Their review seemed to have focused on nutritional content and did not comprise a review of the content of contaminants or chemical residues in foods from various agricultural production procedures. All through their analysis, a sum of 162 relevant editorials were evaluated for nutritional content of organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs.

Alan Dangour, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Research Unit, and one of the report’s authors, stated that, “A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance. Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority. Research in this area would benefit from greater scientific rigour and a better understanding of the various factors that determine the nutrient content of foodstuffs.”

It was observed that 10 out of the 13 nutrient categories which were analyzed seemed to have no significant differences between production methods in nutrient content. However, the differences that were detected were probably due to differences in fertilizer use namely nitrogen, phosphorus, and maturity at the time of harvest. Also, it remains uncertain that consuming these nutrients in organic foods in required amounts would provide any health benefit.

This study has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.