A review of international studies found no convincing evidence to back claims that organically grown foods were healthier or tastier than those grown using chemicals, say New Zealand researchers.
Organic producers avoid the use of artificial pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides. There are no fixed standards although a number of certification agencies monitor produce and some food authorities set organic produce rules.
The scientists said the bulk of around 100 reviewed studies, mainly from Europe, but with some from the United States and Australia, were poorly done. The nutritional value of food was influenced by the time of harvest, freshness, storage and weather, but many studies claiming organic food had more vitamins and minerals did not take proper account of these factors. To date, they feel there's no evidence that organic food is nutritionally superior.
However, the researchers noted that there were clear environmental benefits from growing organically and reduced pesticide residues in organics supported claims of improved food safety.
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