Organically grown crops contain more polyphenols, fewer toxic chemicals than conventionally grown produce

Meta-analyses conducted by researchers from various European countries showed that organically grown crops contain more antioxidants than their conventional counterparts. They also found that organic produce contained less cadmium and pesticide residues than non-organic crops.

  • There is an increase in the demand for organic foods due to the negative effects of agricultural chemical like pesticides and fertilizers on the environment and people’s health.
  • Differences in organic and conventional crop production can affect the chemical residues present in the crops as well as their mineral uptake and metabolism. Scientists are particularly interested in these possible side effects due to their health implications.
  • The authors of the study conducted a systematic literature review regarding the compositional differences between organic and conventional crops then proceeded to do a weighted and unweighted meta-analysis of the data. A total of 343 peer-reviewed publications were included in this study.
  • They found that the concentration of phenolic acids, flavanones, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols, and anthocyanins was higher in organic crops by 19, 69, 28, 26, 50, and 51 percent, respectively. These compounds, which are polyphenolic antioxidants, are associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
  • The study also showed that conventionally grown crops have four times more pesticide residues than organic crops and have significantly higher concentrations of the toxic metal cadmium.

From these results, the researchers concluded that organic crops have higher concentrations of antioxidants and fewer traces of cadmium and pesticide residues than conventionally grown crops.

The full text of the study is available at this link.

For more news articles on the benefits of organic crops, visit

Journal Reference:

Baranski M, Srednicka-Tober D, Volakakis N, Seal C, Sanderson R, Stewart GB, Benbrook C, Biavati B, Markellou E, Giotis C, et al. HIGHER ANTIOXIDANT AND LOWER CADMIUM CONCENTRATIONS AND LOWER INCIDENCE OF PESTICIDE RESIDUES IN ORGANICALLY GROWN CROPS: A SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW AND META-ANALYSES. British Journal of Nutrition. 15 July 2014;112(05). DOI: 10.1017/s0007114514001366

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