Published: 05/24/2008 - Updated: 05/04/2017
Carlo Leifert, coordinator of the largest study in this area, explained at a conference in Barcelona, that organic foods contain more antioxidants, minerals and vitamins than conventional ones.
"Organic foods are good for you? A review of the scientific evidence". Thus is entitled to the paper Carlo Leifert, an agricultural engineer, doctor and professor of microbiology at the University of Newcastle, United Kingdom, has presented today at Barcelona with the collaboration of Veritas-explain that in fact the organically produced foods contain a higher concentration of antioxidants and a higher content of vitamins and minerals. Therefore we can say that they are more nutritious, tasty, safe and preserved, in addition, help biodiversity and the environment.
The results presented today emerge from the largest investigation conducted so far in this area, the project QLIF (Quality Low Input Food, name of production systems that do not use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers) that includes a total of 15 countries and has had a duration of 4 years, with the encouragement and funding from the European Union.
This research has included whole chain of food products for protected products (tomatoes), vegetables grown outdoors (lettuce, onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage), fruits (apples) cereals (wheat), pork, dairy and poultry.
Organic or ecological production
Organic food products are those that have not used any chemical synthesis to produce. From agriculture and organic livestock, which represents, in the first case, have not used chemical fertilizers or additives and, second, that animals have been fed and reared with biological products under the criteria of animal welfare.
Presently, this type of food, more healthy, is an alternative to conventional food, which foods are suffering a progressive distortion that threatens the health of consumers.
The agriculture, animal husbandry and processing of organic food are regulated by law according to EU legislation, EEC Regulation 2092/91 of 24 June 1991 (OJ 198 of 22/07/91 ), protect and control this name, and all its terms "organic," "biological", "eco", "bio" , etc.. and indicates the processes to be performed and products that can be used.
Organic farming aims to redefine a system of agricultural production make the best use of natural resources, without using chemicals that can leave harmful residues to health or the environment. In this way, allows both animal and plants grow in a balanced and beneficial way for all members of the system: the farmer, consumer and products.
This project, led by Professor Carlo Leifert, has been funded with 18 million euros by the European Union and with the participation of 31 partners from 15 European countries. The aim is to improve the quality, safety and productivity in food chains in Europe and other ecological "low input”, which minimize or avoid completely the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
Results in QLIF Project
Among the major findings of this project, the following:
Food issues of concern to consumers choose consumption and ecological are the presence of genetically modified (43%), the presence of pesticides in food (42%) the presence of antibiotics in meat (31%) and food poisoning (31%). It should be noted that GMOs, pesticides and preventive administration of antibiotics to livestock is prohibited in organic production.
Organic production significantly reduces the environmental problems caused by conventional farming, such as pollution of aquifers by nitrates (nitrate leaching), reduces the emission of greenhouse gases, acts on biodiversity loss and prevents soil erosion.
Organic food of plant origin have to prominently present greater dry matter content, higher mineral content (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc), higher content of vitamins (A, B , C), higher content of protein and carbohydrate.
According to various investigations, has been found higher concentration of antioxidants (total phenols and flavonoids) in fruits and green vegetables, as in the urine of people whose diet was based in organic foods. The antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds in general has been amply demonstrated by their activity as inhibitors of the oxidation of fats (lipid peroxidation) and the abductor effect of free radicals, resulting in preventing the aging of cells in the body and enhances the protective effect against certain diseases.
The results for milk and dairy products show higher content of vitamins A and E and higher proportion of fatty acids polyunsaturated (omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid CLA-), than those obtained by conventional methods. The increases in favor of organic food vary between 40% and 80% depending on the nutrient and the food. The increased presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet is partly responsible for the lower incidence of coronary artery disease in the Western world and to reduce blood cholesterol.
Professor Leifert, not without irony, pointed out that Social Security would save much money if organic food was more widespread, for example, fertility treatments in men, as they have proved that those who regularly consume such products have a quality semen than those who do not.
Also spoke about and demonstrated how organic farming, by not using pesticides, doesn’t promotes disappearance of the ozone layer, by not using, for example, methyl bromide, which is banned in Europe, but is widely used to fumigate soil and food stores, and products such as strawberries or take in Africa and is very harmful to the ozone layer, up to 50 times more potent compounds that (CFCs) destroy the ozone.
Other results in Spanish Study
WE also participated in this workshop "Organic Food and Health", organized by Veritas, Dr. María Dolores Raigón, Agricultural Engineer and Professor of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry at the University of Valencia, author of organic food. Quality and Health, published by the Junta de Andalucía.
Raigón of wide experience in this subject has also coordinated and supervised studies on organic food, focusing on the Spanish population. In her research, she has revealed differences in the nutritional composition of organic food versus conventional. The results indicate that using the techniques of organic fruits and vegetables are obtained with less water content, resulting in higher storage capacity, among other issues.
In addition, organic foods have also shown a greater proportion of vitamins and minerals, noting that the juice from green oranges is 20% more vitamin C and green peppers have, on average, 9% more of this vitamin and 15% of polyphenolic substances. Raigón also stressed that the protein levels were higher in organic eggs and rabbit meat versus conventional.
Source: Veritas - Ecoalimenta