Antioxidant properties of organic foods

Organic Foods and their antioxidant properties

New findings are changing the view of organic products internationally. The new findings are putting to rest a long debate between the medical and natural growing communities. Everyone that favors organic foods and products isn’t necessarily on one side, nor are their opposition in the market forces unethical, simply because of their opinions about organics. The problem is finding ways to validate positive and negative claims about organic products, without the legitimate research being available to back it up with scientific data.

What is an antioxidant?

For many years, the industrial markets were in disagreement about what organic meant.
Organic is now a term used to indicate the following, “…that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used,” according to USDA National Organic Program.

antioxidants-rich-foodsThis is the working definition for all organic goods, foods or products.One thing is true, organic foods really are healthier. Not only better for your health, but also they contains antioxidants. Organic goods have more nutritional value, than their brand name conventional counterparts. According to the newest studies conducted by Newcastle University and published just this week.

When the research showed that organic fruits, vegetables and cereals are loaded with a substantially higher concentration of antioxidants, many industries became excited and validated commercially. This difference is clear, when organic foods were compared to crops grown conventionally. In addition, the findings also showed lower levels of toxic chemicals, pesticides and metals were contained in organic produce and cereal products.

For research purposes, 340 international and peer-reviewed studies were looked into. Making this the largest research segment of its kind in scientific history. Mainly those involved were looking for differences in composition methods, when comparing organics to conventionally grown crops. Researchers announced findings that organic produce and cereals are 19 to 69 percent higher in antioxidant compounds overall.

Antioxidant Research

In recent years, the question has been asked about what are antioxidants and have they been linked to risk factor reductions, primarily for chronic diseases, including certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders. These risk factors become reduced with dietary interventions, as shown in prior epidemiological research.

The excitement among the organic community has been unprecedented, but especially pleased are those big businesses marketing organic products to the public. This new information is sure to boost sales, ideal sponsorship and launching further product development, but this was already true in terms of the global marketplace.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports a 5 percent increase in organic operations from last year, which will help match the growing demand for these products. The department also reported organic milk sales increased 9.5 percent during the first 11 months of 2014, jumping to 2.26 billion in sales. This increase in organic milk sales is having a direct impact on the traditional milk markets.

Also a new wave of research funding is sure to come by harnessing a healthier eating generation’s buying power. Grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this year, totally $1.8 million dollars to the University of Tennessee and the University of Kentucky. This will allow for multi-disciplined research for their departments of Food Sciences, Soil Sciences, Agricultural Economics and Animal Research. As these look to be booming markets for the next generation of college graduates.

Lead research study author, Carlo Leifert said,“This study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals. This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting.”

Although not everyone in the medical community is convinced.

“You are not going to be better nourished if you eat organic food,” says Tom Sanders. The Professor of Nutrition at King’s College London, argues against the organic lifestyle generally.
In response to the new research studies Sanders also said, “What is most important is what you eat, not whether it’s organic or conventional. It’s whether you eat fruit and vegetables at all. People are buying into a lifestyle system. They get an assurance it is not being grown with chemicals and is not grown by big business.”
This is similar to the opinion expressed by a secular part of the scientific community, but not all.

Another group is up in arms about this new antioxidant research, the direct traditional milk suppliers nationwide. They claim that competition over organic products in the market will cause businesses financial problems, and other worries center around the ability for organic dairies to provide for.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports a 5 percent increase in organic operations in an attempt to meet with higher consumer demand for organic products, but it maybe failing. As organic dairies report surges in their normal supply and demand ratios, they are also having trouble keeping up with it. Although this might be a good thing, as nationwide organic milk shortages have improved the prices paid out to organic dairy farmers.

Because milk demand has processing companies and bulk buyers scrambling to secure their daily products.
There is debate on the television media about similar issues, but for the most part it has been put to rest. In the light of the newest long term research, organic foods, goods and products should be having a bright future outlook. The choice to buy organic food or not, still relies on the consumer being aware of the niche market of organics. Even so, their rise in popularity is due to cultural shifts that predated any modern study for years.

Simply speaking, organic foods and foods high in antioxidant properties are something the public wants to have as a nutritional choice. The public wants the ability to buy organic products, even if they never do.

Despite the opposition, organic milk and dairy products are on the rise, with no end anywhere in sight. The sales and popularity of non-traditionally raised products, seems to be a deal breaker for many consumers. So much the better, because with recent findings of higher antioxidant levels, the organic research and the market have spoken.