A study by the University of Newcastle School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development reports that fruit and vegetables grown without artificial fertilisers have significantly more key nutrients, including vitamin C.
The results of this study are welcomed by the organic sector in Ireland. “Nutrition is one of the reasons that people buy organic said Grace Maher Development Officer with IOFGA, however other key reasons include the fact that organic food is free from pesticides and gm ingredients, it has higher animal welfare standards and its production methods are more environmentally friendly.”
This research challenges the Food Standards Agency in the UK who have in the past dismissed the nutritional benefits of organic food.
The Newcastle scientists found that organic fruit and vegetables are up to 12% richer in substances called secondary metabolites, these are said to boost the immune system and protect the body from cell damaging free radicals. Organic fruit and vegetables were also recorded to have 6% higher levels of vitamin C.
The study also suggests that eating organic food is likely to improve your overall general health as it also contains higher levels of compounds which encourage the body to burn fat.
The Newcastle study will be published in the next issue of the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences.