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[SANET-MG] Antioxidants in Organic Foods, a State of Science Review from The Organic Center
Please note the following special announcement, from
The Organic Center for Education and Promotion.
The Organic Center for Education and Promotion, a non-profit
organization, initiated a series of scientific reviews on organic
agricultural topics, known as State of Science Reviews (SSR).
This effort is coordinated by Dr. Charles Benbrook, through
the cooperation of the Scientific and Technical Advisory
The first State of Science Review, released in May 2004, is titled
"Minimizing Pesticide Dietary Exposure Through the Consumption
of Organic Food."
On January 26, 2005, The Organic Center released a landmark
State of Science Review addressing the health benefits of
antioxidants in organically produced fruits and vegetables,
grains, and dairy products.
Elevating Antioxidant Levels in Food Through Organic Farming
and Food Processing
*January 26, 2005 Press Release
*SSR's Executive Summary (6 pages)
*Antioxidant SSR (81 pages)
*SSR Antioxidant Bibliography with Abstracts (273 references; 136 pages)
The web page at The Organic Center provides the full SSR on
"Elevating Antioxidant Levels in Food Through Organic Farming
and Food Processing," an 81-page literature review and summary
The SSR on "Elevating Antioxidant Levels in Food Through Organic
Farming and Food Processing" is an interesting summary -- written
for consumers as well as scientists and educators -- because it
provides terminology and explanations for the occurrence of antioxidants,
polyphenols, and secondary plant metabolites; how they are provided
by fruits and vegetables; how they are metabolized by the human body;
why they are important for human health in fighting degenerative
diseases; the quantitative amounts needed to achieve health benefits;
and clearly defined differences in antioxidant levels between
organically-grown and conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables.
The web page at The Organic Center also provides the SSR Antioxidant
Bibliography, containing 273 scientific literature citations with
a 136-page PDF.
The Executive Summary highlights the findings of this report.
Please add the Full SSR to your library on the science
of organic agriculture.
Please see January 26, 2005 Press Release for further
A few points that I have gleaned are listed below.
* Antioxidants are chemicals that help prevent or reduce tissue
damage in cells caused by free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen
and nitrogen-based molecules with unpaired electrons that are
generated by a number of metabolic processes within the body.
Antioxidants inhibit damaging reactions within human cells by
providing the positively charged atoms needed to neutralize free
radicals, which are also called “reactive oxygen species” (ROS),
or “reactive nitrogen species.”
* Organic fruits and vegetables contain about one-third
higher antioxidant and/or phenolic content than comparable
* Core practices used on organic fruit and vegetable farms, e.g.,
composts, cover crops, and slow-release forms of nitrogen -- can
increase antioxidant and polyphenol content compared to
conventional farms that use commercial fertilizers and pesticides.
* Differences in food processing methods and technologies
(hexane, pressure, temperature) between conventional and
organic food processing chains can effect antioxidant levels.
* Consumers can meet recommended antioxidant intake levels
with less than 10 percent of their daily caloric intake, through
the consumption of foods that are high in antioxidant levels.
STAC member, The Organic Center
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