May 7: Is organic food more nutritious?
Is organic food more nutritious than conventional? Join visiting Prof. Dominika Średnicka-Tober as she discusses research on the quality of organic food.
Demand for organic foods is partially driven by consumers’ perception that they are more nutritious and can help them to maintain good health. Over the last 25 years, a significant number of research studies focused on comparing the concentrations of nutritionally relevant minerals, macronutrients, bioactive compounds (e.g. phenolics and vitamins), fatty acids, but also toxic metals and pesticide residues in food products coming from organic and conventional production systems.
The recently published comprehensive meta-analysis study on the composition of organic vs. conventional foods has shown that organic crops are, on average, characterized by significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants (i.e. phenolic compounds), lower concentrations of cadmium and at least four times lower incidence of pesticide residues than their conventional comparators, when compared across regions and agricultural seasons. A number of studies also showed higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in milk from organically raised animals. Many of the bioactive compounds and beneficial fatty acids found often in higher concentrations in organic foods have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers. Negative (i.e. carcinogenic) effects of cadmium and pesticide residues found more frequently in conventional products are also well proven. On the basis of the above statements one could expect beneficial health impacts of organic compared to the conventional foods. However, the available research outcomes addressing this topic are very limited. The lecture gives an overview of published research on the quality, safety and health impacts of organic foods.
- Tuesday, May 7, 2019
- 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- FNH Building Room 40
About Dominika Średnicka-Tober
Dominika Średnicka-Tober is Assistant Professor in the Division of Organic Foods at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. She was previously a Research Associate at Newcastle University in the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, carrying out the meta-analysis on the composition of organic vs. non-organically produced foods. She is an author and co-author of a number of scientific publications, as well as research and educational projects in the area of quality, safety and health impacts of organic foods as well as sustainability of the food systems.