Tuesday, September 8, 2009

French study directly contradicts UK report on organics

We blogged a study published over a month ago by the British government's Food Standards Agency (FSA), which found enormous nutritional differences between organic and conventional produce, but then bizarrely concluded that the differences were insignificant. The press then broadly reported that organic foods aren't any better for you than conventional.

A new study by the French Agency for Food Safety (AFSSA) found the same thing as the UK study -- massive differences in health properties between organic and conventional foods. But unlike the UK study, their conclusion supported their findings.

The AFSSA found that:

* Organic foods contain fewer pesticides and nitrates linked to disease

* Organic foods have higher levels of minerals

* Organic foods have more antioxidants known to protect against disease

* Organic plant products contain more "dry matter," which means they're more nutrient dense

* Organic animal products contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids

The study also concluded that differences in carbohydrate, protein and vitamin levels are "insufficiently documented."

It's worth noting, too, that the UK study didn't look at the overall health properties of organic foods, only whether they contained more nutrients.