Organic Food in Europe
In the last three months vegetable deficit and price expansion in the UK were associated to the weather in Europe, circumscribing how important sustainable agricultural policy is to health with the changing availability of food supplies. Organic food is embraced by many consumers as part of their healthy lifestyle. Presently, the European Union accounts for 24% of the world’s organic land, with the global organic market expected to grow by 2.5 times to US $200 billion by 2020. Whether an organic diet is healthier than a non-organic diet was the debate of a recent report commissioned by the European Parliament reviewing epidemiological, animal and in vitro studies.
The report corroborates previous methodological reviews that claimed a scarcity of research studies investigating the potential beneficial health effects of an organic diet. The greatest of the epidemiology studies examining allergies and atopic disease, the PARSIFAL study, reseached 14,000 children aged 5-13 years in five Euroepan countries. The study showed that children on a biodymanic diet in Steiner schools exhibited a lower prevalence for allergic symptoms. However, in all age groups, it was not achievable to analyze whether other healthy lifestyle factors associated to the choice for organic food accounted for these correlations.
The most important advantage of an organic diet is the controlled vulnerability to synthetic pesticides with potential neurotoxic, endocrine-disrupting, or carcinogenic properties. The disclosure to pesticides during pregnacy in long-term birth cohort studies was correlated with negative effects on intelligence quotient and neuro-behavioural development. Therefore, the report advocates that organic food is very beneficial for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Furthermore, organic food production also regulates the treatment of antibiotics in farmed animals and results in lower consolidations of crop cadmium. The report incorporates policy recommendations addressing both of these issues. In conclusion, large, prospective, long-term reseaches are important as well as deeper examination of agricultural policies and health. Majority still depends on the groundwork of robust multidisciplinary reseach to guide future food choices for health and wellness.
PHOTO: Vesna Podkrajac
Podkrajac, V. (2017). Organic food: Panacea for health? Mind Body Spirit World. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from http://mindbodyspiritworld.com/2017/08/20/organic-food.html.