2003: Danish researchers have published a new
study that suggests organic food contains higher levels
of flavonoids than its conventional counterparts. Flavonoids,
natural antioxidants, have been connected to a wide variety
of health benefits and may help reduce the risk of cancer
and circulatory disorders.
The eleven week study conducted by The Danish Institute
of Agricultural Sciences tested the flavonoid levels
of six men and ten women after two 22 days periods following
a strict diet. One period consisted totally of organically
grown foods, the other entirely conventionally grown.
Each participant was provided all their food for this
period. Bottled and provided coffee were the only items
not on the menu that participants were allowed to consume.
Each conventional and organic meal was nearly identical
in make-up and size. The only difference in the meals
could be seen in the varieties of produce provided.
The produce used in the experiment was obtained from
a local grocery store and available varieties were used.
The varieties available for conventional were different
than those available in organic.
The use of different produce varieties has lead to
ultimately inconclusive results, with researchers warning
that the differences found between the organic and conventional
diets could be a result of the hardier varieties used
by organic growers rather than the techniques themselves.
The study appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and
Food Chemistry, 2003, issue 51.