A study released by the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) stating that organic food is not nutritionally better for you than non-organic food is missing the larger picture with regard to organic food. This study completed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined studies carried out over the last 50 years on the nutritional differences, if these studies met particular criteria that they outlined.
The researchers do agree that the differences between organic and non-organic food are not â€œimportantâ€, due to the relatively few studies, they report in their analysis that there are higher levels of beneficial nutrients in organic compared to non-organic foods. IOA would also like to point out that the study coming from Newcastle University in the UK last year the Quality Low Input Farming (QLIF) was not included in this review as it did not meet the criteria outlined by the researchers. The QLIF research was carried out by 31 research institutes and universities throughout Europe and the results showed that there were more anti-oxidants and vitamins in organic vegetables than non organic vegetables and more omega 3 in organic dairy products than non organic dairy products.
Kate Carmody Chairperson of IOA says that â€œnutrition is only one reason why people eat organic food, other major reasons include the fact that organic food does not contain pesticide residues and that organic food comes from a more sustainable method of farming which does not have a negative impact on the environment and is less energy intensive. Therefore this study is limited in its scope and we would argue that organic food has many benefits including nutritional benefitsâ€.
The Irish Organic Association (IOFGA) is the largest organic certification organisation in Ireland representing approx 1,150 farmers, growers and processors. It is responsible for certifying the organic provenance of its members produce and the IOA symbol indicates that a product has met the highest standard or organic integrity. IOA also works to inform the public about the benefits of organic food and to support the development of organic food production in Ireland.
For further information please contact:
Development Officer IOFGA
Tel 087 6125989