Organic and conventional produce comparisons

In the latest studies commissioned by the Food Standard agency organic food and conventional produce were compared for nutrient content and differences in health outcomes with a systematic review of studies carried out from 1958-2009


The findings show no nutrient content differences of relevance so far in 162 studies.  Along with this no differences in health were found between people eating organic or conventional produce, though in this case more studies were recommended.


Other issues:


Food safety

There is also no difference in food safety standards for both products, both are subject to the same regulation. 


Pesticides and Additives

There have been lower pesticide residues found in organic produce, however those in conventional produce are already low as they are required to be within legal limits and monitored.



The cost gap between organic and conventional is now reducing, with the latest figures produced by Brandview finding a difference of less than £5 in a week’s shop of a set list of products.



Organic food has plus points. It represents high standards in all areas. It has a high focus on the environment, sustainability, soil care using crop rotation, natural manuring methods for fertilisers, strict rules on which pesticides can be used and how, no genetic modification allowed, high animal welfare standards. All standards are governed by EU law for minimum standards, with a monitoring body to ensure these standards are met. You may be getting standards well above these minimums. Ultimately, you are paying for quality in all these areas. 


Consumer choice is important, so you choose what's important to you. If the environment is your priority then consider organic, but be aware of all issues such as where the food is produced, if air miles and pollution are involved from shipping long distances, as well as loss of nutrients from storage. 

MY OPINION: I'm all for organic farming and protection of our planet. Best of all for the environment and for fresh produce has to be growing your own wherever you can, but obviously that isn't possible for all. If cost or availability is an issue I'd rather you focus on having a healthy balance of food, quality lean cuts of meat and fish with lots of fruit and vegetables of any type, organic or standard. The facts are, the benefits of a vegetable and plant based diet is protective for health no matter which one you choose.