Organic Onions, Carrots - Overestimated Benefits

 
12-Jan-2011 by

Organic onions, carrots - overestimated benefits?! We all are drawn to the word organic in some or the other way. We can say that it is one of the most exploited word of the century. On hearing the word "organic" we all conjure up images of something, which is healthy and beneficial. But we are afraid to tell you that your perception may be wrong because a team of scientists have appeared on the scene challenging the overestimated  benefits of organic onions and other organic foods in total. They have opinioned that the word organic may lose its potency because organic onions and other organic foods don't have any extra health benefits.

 

Many of you might be disappointed by hearing this news because organic onions and other vegetables literally burn holes in the pockets. These vegetables are designed to pose as the elixir of health and we always tend to fall prey to smart marketing skills too. Pia Knuthsen and colleagues say that we are made to believe on many reasons for buying organic foods. The most exploited reasons are accentuated health benefits, improved taste, environmental protection, and animal welfare. Most of the overestimated benefits of organic onions seem to be fabricated because there are no documented scientific results which clarify their supremacy in terms of nutritional values. The scientists conducted experiments on organic vegetables and regularly grown vegetables to study their polyphenolic profiles. On close examination they found that organic onions and regularly grown onions had almost same levels of polyphenols. The scientists are hoping that these findings will help people to make "informed choices ".

 

Similarly the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine followed records of nutrition and health benefits for the last 50 years. Nearly 162 studies were conducted to ascertain the reality of the overestimated benefits of organic onions and other food products. The studies were lead by Dr. Alan Dangour who said that amongst 162 studies about 55 of them indicated that there was little difference between nutritional values of conventionally produced vegetables like onions and organically produced vegetables. The overestimated benefits of organic onions were quashed when Dangour added that even the levels of iron, calcium and vitamin C were the same. The same thing held true for meat, dairy and poultry too.The only noticeable differences were found in the ratios of phosphorus and nitrogen. The scientists say that the differences were more likely due to varieties of fertilizers used or the ripeness of harvests. Gill Fine, FSA Director of consumer choice and dietary health says that these studies were not conducted with the purpose of discouraging people to go for organic vegetables. Dr. Alan Dangour says that: "Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organic over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority."

 

There are others like Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association  who allege that the new studies rejected the existing comparisons between nutritional values of organic and non-organic vegetables. He added that although researchers may neglect the trivial nutritional values noticed in the organic onions and other organic vegetables, but the supremacy of these organic foods cannot be discarded as whole because they will have much more to offer.

 

Ifood conclusion: We should make informed decisions on what we are eating. 

 

 

Image Courtesy: greenkitchentools.files.wordpress.com

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