High organic food consumption linked to ‘strong nutritional, environmental benefits,’ study claims

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The aim of this study, based on observational data, was to compare some sustainability features of diets from consumers with varying levels of organic food.

Higher organic food consumption was associated with higher plant-food and lower animal-food consumption, overall nutritional quality (higher dietary scores), and lower BMI. Diet-related greenhouse-gas emissions, cumulative energy demand, and land occupation gradually decreased with increasing organic food consumption, whereas total diet monetary cost increased. Diet exposure to most pesticides decreased….

[Editor’s note: Read the GLP’s FAQ Are organic foods healthier than conventional foods? to learn more.]

The diet sustainability among 29,210 participants of the NutriNet-Santé study was estimated using databases developed within the BioNutriNet project. Four dimensions (nutrition, environment, economy, and toxicology) of diet sustainability were assessed using: 1) nutritional indicators through dietary intakes and dietary scores, and BMI; 2) environmental indicators (greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative energy demand, and land occupation); 3) economic indicators via diet monetary costs; and 4) estimated daily food exposures to 15 pesticides….

Related article:  Pesticide exposure boosts cancer risk in farmers? Busting one of social media's favorite agriculture myths

Diets of high organic food consumers were generally characterized by strong nutritional and environmental benefits. The latter were mostly driven by the low consumption of animal-based foods, whereas the production system was responsible for the higher diet monetary costs, and the overall reduced dietary pesticide exposure.

Read full, original article: Improvement of diet sustainability with increased level of organic food in the diet: findings from the BioNutriNet cohort (Behind paywall)

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