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Nutritional Consequences of Using Organic Agricultural Methods in Developing Countries

Brandt, Kirsten and Kidmose, Ulla (2003) Nutritional Consequences of Using Organic Agricultural Methods in Developing Countries. In: Cakmak, Ismail; Graham, Robin D. and Welch, Ross M. (Eds.) Impacts of Agriculture on Human Health and Nutrition. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO. EOLSS Publishers, Oxford, UK.

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Summary

In addition to improved yields, the use of organic methods can benefit the nutritional value of foods in several ways, compared with subsistence agriculture, and in some respects also when compared with the use of high-input conventional farming methods. The recycling of organic matter retards depletion of the soil and ensures that increases in yield are not offset by mineral deficiencies caused by unbalanced plant nutrition. City populations can use organic products to minimize their intake of pesticide residues and nitrate. Improved nutritional status of crops under low-input conditions can increase the contents of protein and vitamin A, but can also increase the contents of some anti-nutrients. Improved availability of firewood through agroforestry enables thorough cooking to ensure removal of anti-nutrients and full utilization of nutrients. Increased diversity of crops not only provides a more dependable food supply, but also increases the chance for obtaining a full complement of nutrients due to the variability in composition of different staple crops. The increased use of pulses, vegetables and fruit also overcomes short-comings in the nutritional values of the main staple crops, such as maize and rice. However, to obtain the full benefits from these methods, substantially increased and much more targeted research on the development and use of organic agriculture methods under tropical conditions is necessary, especially in connection with subsistence agriculture.


EPrint Type:Book chapter
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Farming Systems
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.4 (OrganicHealth) Organic food and health - a multigeneration animal experiment
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Related Links:http://www.eolss.net
Deposited By: Brandt, Dr. Kirsten
ID Code:1570
Deposited On:07 Oct 2003
Last Modified:03 Dec 2013 14:35
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Also exists in a printed version, there is more info on the webpage.

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