Is Organic Food More Nutritious??

The short answer is a qualified “Yes.”However, three analyses – two published this year, the other in 2014 – found that some organic food is nutritionally superior to conventional ones.

Organic meat and milk provide 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids, and that organic meat has lower concentrations of two saturated fats associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease.  It was also reported that organic milk provides more iron, vitamin E and some carotenoids than conventional milk but not as much iodine or selenium.

A 2014 meta-analysis of more than 300 studies of the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables concluded that organic produce has higher concentrations of antioxidants: specifically, about 50 percent more anthocyanins and flavonols.

Another potential plus of organic fruits and vegetables may stem from compounds the plants produce to deal with pests and other forms of stress they encounter.

There are some experts who are skeptical that the nutritional benefits seen in the three meta-analyses will add up to any significant improvement in human health. We’ll have to wait for future studies to look at that possibility. For now, however, the known risks of the pesticides, hormones and other chemicals used in raising livestock and growing fruits and vegetables remain a powerful argument for choosing organically produced foods whenever possible.