Organic farming and growing impacts on food quality – the Newcastle study

The 2014 Newcastle University led meta-analysis of nutritional differences between organic and non-organic crops looked at 343 individual, peer-reviewed research studies, 45% of which were published between 2008 and 2011, after the cut-off point of the 2009 Dangour study commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency. We know that heavy use of manufactured nitrogen fertiliser suppresses production of defence compounds in plants, and the additional data provided by so many recent studies has now allowed scientists to find statistically significant differences between organic and non-organic fruit, vegetables grains and pulses. The results of the study on nutrients, heavy metals and pesticides will be discussed. Importantly, the global impact of the study will be considered, along with further meta-analyses due from the same team, and the implications of the research findings for the organic movement.


Theme: crop diversity
Published: 27th November 2014
Author: Peter Melchett