Thursday, August 28, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 28th August 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :  Proponents of organic food have always maintained that it is better for us because it has more nutrients and no pesticide residue when compared with non-organic produce. This has always been discounted by the large agri-businesses that grow most of our crops, stating that residue is always within safe limits.

A recent study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, conducted by Newcastle University has shown that there are substantially more antioxidants present in organic fruit, vegetables and cereals than in conventionally grown crops. This is the first study to show the differences between the two methods. Antioxidants have been linked to the reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and certain cancers. The increased levels of antioxidants are equivalent to one or two of our daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

Plants produce the antioxidants to help fight pest attacks because they have no protection from chemical sprays and the plants themselves are bred for toughness and not overfed with artificial fertilisers.

One of the main concerns for people who buy organic produce is the pesticide residue that is found in conventionally grown crops - as much as four times more cadmium, a toxic metal, has been found in non-organic than in organic crops.

Organic farming also addresses the significant problems of soil degradation and excess fertiliser use, the runoff from which causes the pollution of many rivers.

This study shows, for the first time, that how we farm does affect the quality of the food we eat.

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