A recent FSA (Food Standards Agency) study concluded that organic food was no more nutritious than that grown using conventional methods. The survey deemed only 55 of the thousands of studies performed over the last 50 years to be relevant. The studies showed that organic food had higher levels of acidity and phosphorous whilst conventional food had more nitrates. The FSA concluded that these results were irrelevant to public health. It took no account of pesticides and fertilisers used in conventional growing. The most recent study commissioned by the European Union to look into the differences between organic and non-organic was excluded. Another recent EU-funded study found that organic milk contained 60% more antioxidants and healthy fatty acids than normal milk and that vitamin levels are higher in organic tomatoes, onions and wheat. Whatever you feel about the validity of this report, is nutritional value the only reason for people wanting to grow their own food? Or does it have more to do with improved flavour, knowing where ones food has come from and how it has been grown. Most of us who grow our own produce are probably not strictly organic but do our best to avoid using chemicals if possible. Much of the food in supermarkets has been imported often from countries with less strict legislation on the use of chemicals.
Reprinted from Summer2009 Newsletter