If you’re spending extra money on organic produce or considering it, here’s a study that will encourage you to take that leap. A very large, new study, an analysis of 343 peer reviewed studies was published in the British Journal Of Nutrition. It found that organic produce, contains up to 60% more antioxidants in comparison to conventionally grown produce (exposed to pesticides). The researchers indicated that switching to organic alone would provide benefits equivalent to eating one-to-two extra portions of produce per day.

Even more importantly, from a health perspective, the study also showed that organic produce is lower in heavy metal toxins. The research concluded that cadmium levels in organic crops are 48% lower than levels of cadmium in conventional produce. Cadmium is found in many pesticides and fertilizers.  Conventional crops are four times more likely to contain pesticide residues compared to organic produce. .

Finally, the study found that conventional crops were four times more likely to carry residue from pesticides than their organic counterparts.

“The organic vs non-organic debate has rumbled on for decades now but the evidence from this study is overwhelming — that organic food is high in antioxidants and lower in toxic metals and pesticides” Newcastle University Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the study, said in a press release.

“But this study should just be a starting point,” he added. “We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional crops, now there is an urgent need to carry out well-controlled human dietary intervention.”


Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses

Environmental Working Group