GREENFIELD, Mass., Oct 29, 2007 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today hailed preliminary findings from a four-year European Union (EU) study that indicate some organic foods are more nutritional than their non-organic counterparts.
"This study may be the breakthrough that helps prove what many in the organic sector believe to be true about food grown using organic practices," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's Executive Director, on learning of the findings announced by Professor Carlo Leifert of the Tesco Centre for Organic Agriculture based at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.
Preliminary results from this study, which is part of the EU-funded Quality Low Input Food (QLIF) Project, show organic fruit and vegetables have up to 40 percent more antioxidants than non-organically grown produce, while organic milk contains up to 60 to 80 percent more antioxidants than conventionally produced milk in the summer, and 50 to 60 percent higher levels in the winter. Organic milk also was found to contain higher levels of vitamin E.
The research team led by Professor Leifert has been raising fruits, vegetables and cows both organically and non-organically on sites on a 725-acre farm near Newcastle University. The research is scheduled to run for an additional year.
In announcing the preliminary results, Professor Leifert said such benefits suggest that eating organic food would be equivalent to eating an extra portion of fruit and vegetables a day.
The QLIF Project, set up in March 2004, is funded with a grant of 18 million Euros ($25.8 million) from the EU. The research program involves 31 research centers, companies and universities in Europe and elsewhere. To read more about QLIF, go to its web site, at http://www.qlif.org/.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. Its more than 1,600 members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.