TO: Organic Federation of Australia
RE: Study Comparing Organic to Conventional Foods
To whom it may concern,
The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SANET) received the following
post today regarding a comparison of organic and conventional
foods. I was able to find a reference to the study on your
Your page indicates that the analysis was done at the
Australian Government Analytical Labs. I have tried in vain to
locate the original source of the study, so I think we need some
Can you provide some direction on where the original study
can be located ? I think there are many people who would like
to see the original document so as to evaluate the findings.
The results (below) are quite provocative, but I think there
are many people who would not be prepared to take them seriously
unless they were able to see much more detail on the study. There
is considerable interest in the subject area of the study, but
it will not be very useful without the details.
If you are able to provide me with a link to the original source,
I will circulate it to the SANET list.
John Henning, McGill University, Canada
From: Roberto Verzola <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 02 May 00 10:33:57
Subject: organics have more nutrients
Below is a study published in Permaculture International Journal
(March-May 2000, No. 74, ISSN 1037-8480), p.27:
Food with Attitude
An analysis of vegetable produce commissioned by the Organic
Retailers and Growers Association of Australia (ORGAA) showed that
organic produce, grown on minerally enriched and biologically
revitalized soil, was generally 10 times higher in nutritional
elements than supermarket samples.
The Australian Government Analytical Laboratory compared nutrient
value (mg/kg) of beans, tomatoes, capsicum and silver beet purchased
in the supermarket to those from organic sources. (See tables.)
According to ORGAA spokesman, Chris Alenson, who supervised the
study, the results demonstrated that consumers may not be getting the
nutritional benefits they expect from the food they buy.
"Recent samples say kids are only eating 30% of the required
daily intake of fruit and vegetables - could the reason be taste?"
asked Alenson, who queried the long term health effects of low mineral
"National nutritional surveys [in Australia] indicate a move
towards increased reliance on fast foods and snacks high in fat and
low in fibre. Nutritionists are unanimous that adequate consumption of
fresh fruit and vegetables is vital in disease prevention and health
maintenance," he said.
"The problem for consumers is that fruit and vegetables produced
by 'high tech' agricultural systems, fed by synthetic fertilizers,
exposed to pesticides and fungicides, may not be delivering the
nutritional benefits that consumers believe they may be receiving."
He says further research is needed into the nutritional value of
our food supply.
The results, in a colourful brochure on how to grow nutritionally
rich vegetables, are available from ORGAA - call (+61) 3 9737 9799.
Table: mg per kg of supermarket/organic produce
-------- Beans Tomatoes Capsicum Silver Beet
Calcium 40/480 6.7/67 4.7/84 65/1600
Potassium 260/1900 200/300 150/1600 450/2600
Magnesium 26/240 10/89 11/700 69/1700
Sodium <1/<10 2.4/26 <1/20 180/1800
Iron 0.6/<5 <0.5/<5 0.5/<5 1.4/9.4
Zinc .38/3.4 0.19/1.2 0.13/2.5 0.57/130
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