Research published in 2001 showed that conventionally grown fruit and vegetables in the USA have about half the vitamin content of their counterparts in 1963. This study was based on comparing published US Department of Agriculture figures.
A scientific study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition in 1993 clearly showed that organic food is more nutritious than conventional food. Organically and conventionally grown apples, potatoes, pears, wheat, and sweet corn were purchased in the western suburbs of Chicago, over two years, and analysed for mineral content. The organically grown food averaged 63% higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc. The organic food averaged 29% lower in mercury than the conventionally raised food.
A recently publish review of scientific research by Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. reveals that on average organic foods contain about one-third higher in antioxidants than comparable conventional produce.
These phyto-nutrients have been shown to have major roles in preventing and reversing diseases such as heart disease and arterial diseases. They are important for preventing and reducing inflammatory and auto-immune diseases such as asthma and arthritis. Most significantly they are shown to have anti cancer and other protective properties for our health and well being.
A study by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Research and the University of Newcastle's showed that cows raised on an organic diet produce milk with 50% more Vitamin E and 75% more beta carotene than conventionally farmed cows. The organic milk has two to three times more zeaxanthine and lutein, which are powerful antioxidants. Higher levels of omega 3 essential fatty acids, that provide protection from heart and other diseases, are also found in organic milk.
A scientific article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry stated that organically grown corn, strawberries and marionberries have significantly higher levels of cancer fighting antioxidants than conventionally grown foods.
The European Journal of Nutrition published a study by Dr John Paterson from the University of Strathclyde, UK. The study found that organic vegetable soups contain almost six times as much salicylic acid as non-organic vegetable soups. Salicylic acid is produced naturally in plants as a protective compound against stress and disease. It is responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of aspirin, and helps combat hardening of the arteries, heart disease and bowel cancer.
Two comprehensive studies have been published that compared the differences between organic and conventional foods. Both studies analyzed around 40 previously published studies, each independently of the other. One study was conducted in the UK by nutritionist Shane Heaton and the other in the USA by Virginia Worthington as a peer reviewed university graduate thesis. Both studies came up with similar conclusions showing that there is overwhelming evidence that organic food is more nutritious than conventional food. Heaton stated : On average our research found higher vitamin C, higher mineral levels and higher phytonutrients plant compounds which can be effective against cancer.