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Is organic food really better?

While it would seem common sense that organic food is better for your health, this study on organic milk shows it is, so it's nice to know that some scientific studies are beginning to back these claims up!

organic milkFans of organic foods have been claiming for years that organic farming produces crops that are more nutritious than those produced on conventional farms, and point out that modern farming methods (along with earlier harvesting, longer storage, and more processing) have caused nutrient levels in fruit and vegetables to decline substantially over the last 50 to 60 years. Now there's new research to add to the growing body of evidence that organically-grown crops do tend to have better nutritional profiles than their conventionally-farmed cousins.

Earlier this year, Danish researchers published data demonstrating that the milk from organically-reared cows contains higher levels of antioxidants than non-organic milk. The differences were very impressive -

- 50 per cent more vitamin E
- 75 per cent more beta-carotene
- Two to three times more of the eyesight-protecting compounds lutein and zeaxanthin

The organic milk also contained higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids - an important result for children, since deficiency of this important group of essential fatty acids has been linked with learning disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain and visual function.

Interestingly, learning disorders also appear on the long list of health conditions that researchers hypothesise may be caused by exposure to pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides. Other conditions that have been linked to agricultural chemicals include depression, fatigue, nausea, Parkinson's disease, and several forms of cancer - mostly of the reproductive organs.

Those of us who don't eat organically are exposed to these chemicals on a regular basis - around 1/3 of our food supply is believed to carry pesticide residues - a worrying statistic for the health-conscious consumer. And no wonder Australians are increasingly embracing organic food - the market is now worth over $250 million and is growing at an impressive 20-30 per cent per year.

Also see our article on the Slow Food Movement.

If you want to source some organic food in Manly (NSW Sydney) check out:

ˇManly Food Co-Op at 21B Whistler Street (ph 9977 0177)
ˇPure Whole Foods at Shop 5 10 Darley Road (ph 8966 9377)
ˇOne Earth Foods at Shop 10/37 The Corso (down the arcade near the Manly Library, ph 8966 9699)
ˇOrganic Food & Wellness Markets at Manly West Public School, Hill St Balgowlah on Saturdays 8am-2pm (ph 0412 879 923)

To find out more about organic food, eating well or your individual nutritional needs contact us!


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