Organic food quality and impact on human health
Chair of Organic Foodstuffs, Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences,Nowoursynowska 159c, 02-776 Warszawa, Poland, phone: 48 22 5937038, fax: 48 22 5937036;e-mail: email@example.com.
During the last decades consumers‟ trust in food quality and safety has drastically decreased, mainly due to several food scandals and growing ecological awareness. Consumers have started to look for safer foods, produced in environmentally friendly, authentic and local systems. Organically produced foods are believed to satisfy these demands.Organic crops contain less nitrates and pesticide residues, but more dry matter, vitamin C,phenolic compounds, essential amino acids and sugars than conventional ones. Organically produced milk contains usually more dry matter, fat, calcium, selected vitamins and beneficial conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) compared to conventional milk from high input systems. Meat from organically raised cattle, pigs and sheep was found to contain less total fats and saturated fatty acids but higher content of unsaturated fatty acids and better n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio.The health effects of organic vs. conventional foods have been investigated in severalstudies. In vitro analyses indicated better repair of bacterial DNA and decrease of cancer cells proliferation on organic vs. conventional plant materials. Animal studies indicated better fertility indexes and increased immune parameters in organically fed animals. The effects of organic foods on human health are still not well known. However, according to PARSIFAL study children representing antrophosophic lifestyle, including biodynamic and organic food, had less allergies and lower body weight, while KOALA study associated consumption of organic dairy products with lower eczema risk in children.The overall number of studies analyzing the quality and safety of organic foods andinvestigating the health effects of organic food consumption is growing. However, the results are still insufficient to formulate the explicit conclusions.
food quality, health, organic food