At Daylesford, we fully believe in the benefits of eating organic – so we welcome the news that a landmark scientific paper in the British Journal of Nutrition has concluded that organic food has higher concentrations of antioxidants and lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides than conventionally produced foods.

What does this mean in short? Read our key points below:

The study found that organic crops and processed food have up to 70% higher levels of plant antioxidants and (poly)phenolics, which have show strong evidence of potential protection against cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. So much so, that switching to organic crop consumption is equivalent to eating one or two additional portions of fruit or vegetables per day.

The analysis detected 48% lower concentrations of the toxic heavy metal cadmium in organic crops. Cadmium is known to accumulate in the body and is one of the only three toxic metal contaminants for which the European Commussion has set maximum permitted contamination levels.

The study found that the occurrence of detectable pesticide residues was four times higher in conventionally produced crops. Although further study of the potential health benefits associated with reducing pesticide exposure is required, lower exposure is widely considered desirable for health.

View the full Soil Association report summarising the study here