OTA Cites Research on Nutritional Benefits of Organics

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OTA Cites Research on Nutritional Benefits of Organics

GREENFIELD, Mass. -- New research from the European Union could provide scientific evidence to support the nutritional benefits of organics, said the Organic Trade Association (OTA).

The four-year EU study indicates some organic foods are more nutritional than their non-organic counterparts, the trade group said.

"This study may be the breakthrough that helps prove what many in the organic sector believe to be true about food grown using organic practices," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's executive director, on learning of the findings announced by Professor Carlo Leifert of the Tesco Centre for Organic Agriculture based at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.

Preliminary results from the study, which is part of the EU-funded Quality Low Input Food (QLIF) Project, show organic fruit and vegetables have up to 40 percent more antioxidants than non-organically grown produce, while organic milk contains up to 60 to 80 percent more antioxidants than conventionally produced milk in the summer, and 50 to 60 percent higher levels in the winter, according to OTA. Organic milk also was found to contain higher levels of vitamin E.

The research team, led by Professor Leifert, has been raising fruits, vegetables, and cows both organically and non-organically on sites on a 725-acre farm near Newcastle University. The research is scheduled to run for an additional year.