QLIF: Organic food is healthier

Newcastle / UK. (qlif) The Integrated Project QualityLowInputFood (QLIF) aims to improve quality, ensure safety and reduce cost along the organic and «low input» food supply chains through research, dissemination and training activities. The project focuses on increasing value to both consumers and producers using a fork to farm approach.

The project was initiated in March 2004. It is funded by the European Union with a total budget of 18 million Euro. The research involves thirty-one research institutions, companies and universities throughout Europe and beyond.

Latest news: According to the study, organically produced food is better than ordinary food. Organic food like fruits, vegetables and milk, contain more nutrients and may contain higher concentrations of cancer fighting and heart beneficial antioxidants. Researchers say that the four-year study´s complete findings will be published within next one year.

Professor Carlo Leifert of the Tesco Centre for Organic Agriculture based at Newcastle University (UK), who with his team are working on the QLIF project, announced the findings. Leifert said that research results indicated that eating organic food was equivalent to eating an extra portion of fruit and vegetables each day.

Study results show organic food has up to 40 percent more antioxidants than non-organically produced food. Organic milk contains up to 60 percent more antioxidants and healthy fatty acids. Researchers grew fruit, vegetables and reared cattle on adjacent and non-organic sites across Europe, including 725 acre farm linked to Newcastle University.

Leifert: «We have shown there are more of certain nutritionally desirable compounds and less of the baddies in organic foods. Our research is now trying to find out where the difference between organic and conventional food comes from. What we are really interested in is finding out why there is so much variability with respect to the differences. What in the agricultural system gives a higher nutritional content and less of the baddies in the food?» He also hoped that the study findings would help farmers in organic to improve the quality of their produce.

UK government´s Food Standards Agency (FSA), currently states, «Consumers may also choose to buy organic food because they believe that it is safer and more nutritious than other food. However, the balance of current scientific evidence does not support this view».