New Studies Back Benefits of Organic Diet: Conventional agriculture produces “hollow food”, with low levels of nutrients and vitamins
By Stephen Leahy
TORONTO, Canada, Mar 4, 2006 (Tierramérica)
(Originally published in 2006, two authoritative 2007 studies with similar findings are referenced at the end)
Organic foods protect children from the toxins in pesticides, while foods grown using modern, intensive agricultural techniques contain fewer nutrients and minerals than they did 60 years ago, according to two new scientific studies.
A U.S. research team from Emory University in Atlanta analysed urine samples from children ages three to 11 who ate only organic foods and found that they contained virtually no metabolites of two common pesticides, malathion and chlorpyrifos. However, once the children returned to eating conventionally grown foods, concentrations of these pesticide metabolites quickly climbed as high as 263 parts per billion, says the study published Feb. 21 (2006).
Organic crops are grown without the chemical pesticides and fertilisers that are common in intensive agriculture.There was a “dramatic and immediate protective effect” against the pesticides while consuming organically grown foods, said Chensheng Lu, an assistant professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
These findings, in addition to the results of another study published in Britain earlier this month, have fueled the debate about the benefits of organically grown food as compared to conventional, mass-produced foods, involving academics, food and agro-industry executives and activists in the global arena.