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Investigations of organic food and health

Brandt, Dr. Kirsten and Kristensen, Erik Steen (2003) Investigations of organic food and health. [Undersøgelser af økologiske fødevarer og sundhed.] Innovations in Food Technology (20), pp. 68-69.

[thumbnail of DANISH_INSTITUTE_SCAN_EDIT.pdf] PDF - English


Numerous studies have attempted to elucidate if there is a difference in
the effect on human health, between food produced according to the
organic standards compared with conventionally produced food. While
many studies support a few general trends of differences in food
composition, none have provided any conclusive evidence for differences
in the effects on human health. Most of the studies have been inadequate
in size or focus to allow any definitive conclusions. The major problem is
the complexity of the issue, and the general paucity of knowledge about
the impact of food on health, which means that it is virtually impossible
to tackle all relevant uncertainties in any one study. Instead a whole range
of different types of studies are needed to provide a conclusion.
Presently, a study is in progress, which attempts to provide some of
the missing key information on this issue. This study comprises controlled
cultivation of plants in three different models of growing systems for two
years, and feeding rats for 3 generations on diets composed of these
plants. It will show if food from different growing systems can result in
differences in health of rats, and if so, which aspects of health are
affected. However, if differences are found, subsequent studies will be
necessary to determine the applicability and possible consequences for
human health. Still, together with other existing and planned studies it
might soon be possible to determine some of the consequences for
human health of the methods used for food production. This could result
in increased demand for organic food, and it could at the same time lead
to changes in the farming methods in either organic or conventional
production systems. In any case, this type of research will improve crucial
aspects of the knowledge base, which is needed also in other contexts, to
support the efforts to improve food safety and quality.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Human health, nutrition, non-nutrients, experimental design
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Indicators and other value-laden measures
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.4 (OrganicHealth) Organic food and health - a multigeneration animal experiment
Deposited By: Brandt, Dr. Kirsten
ID Code:1486
Deposited On:07 Oct 2003
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:28
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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