We’ve got a bit of a spring in our step this week and it’s not only because we’re excited about the launch of our crowdfunding
campaign (more on this very soon we promise!).
No, that’s definitely part of it but as well as this, we’ve had our long-held suspicions confirmed: eating organic actually does confer significant health benefits.
In a meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Nutrition this week, researchers from Newcastle University reviewed 343 studies and found that organically grown produce contains higher levels – 18% to 69% higher, to be precise – of antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts, as well as having lower levels of toxic heavy metals.
‘Antioxidants’ is a word that’s bandied around quite freely these days, on everything from food packaging to face cream, but what are they? Basically, the body creates free radicals, unstable molecules, the formation of which is often heightened by environmental factors. In high concentrations, these can wreak havoc on the cells and contribute to the development of disease, including cancer. Antioxidants are chemicals that inhibit these free radicals and reduce the risk of other chronic diseases.
So it seems pretty obvious that food that contains significantly higher levels of them is a good thing.
Naturally enough, the study has already had its detractors. But even if you cock a sceptical eyebrow at the health claims, it’s worth considering the fact that growing organic, with its disallowance of chemicals, encouragement of biodiversity and reliance on natural processes, has a far gentler impact on our environment than conventional methods. And with statistics from the Soil Association
demonstrating that care for the environment ranks almost as high as wellbeing on the list of reasons why people choose organic, it seems fairly evident that most people have clocked that vitality loses its lustre somewhat against a backdrop of eco-bleakness.
We’re not suggesting that every morsel you ingest should bear the ‘organic’ stamp; it’s not always possible, and probably nor is it necessary. But our motto has always been “as local as possible, as organic as possible.” We reckon that’s a pretty good start – and we reckon that this latest study is pretty good news for anyone whose motto is similar.