sexta-feira, 11 de setembro de 2009

Orgânico versus Convencional

Enviado por Ralph Werhle
Caro Richard,
Recentemente no seu blog este assunto estava em pauta.
Abaixo artigo publicado hoje no Food Navigator  que tampouco vai ser a palavra final sobre o assunto, mas vale a pena ler para entender o que foi levado em conta na avaliação. Tem tb a referência sobre o trabalho original!

French study says organic food is healthier
By Jess Halliday, 11-Sep-2009
A new review from France has concluded that there are nutritional benefits to organic produce, on the basis of data compiled for the French food agency AFSSA. The conclusion opposes that of a UK study published last month.
Whether or not organic food brings nutritional benefits over conventional food has been a matter of considerable inquiry and debate. The issue came to a head last month when a study commissioned by the UK¹s Food Standards Agency (FSA) concluded that there is no evidence of nutritional superiority.
Now, however, a review published in the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development has said drawn wildly different conclusions.

Author Denis Lairon of the University of Aix-Marseille coordinated an ³up-to-date exhaustive and critical evaluation of the nutritional and sanitary quality of organic food² for AFSSA, which was originally published
in 2003. The new review is based on this, as well as the findings of new studies published in the intervening years.

Lairon concluded that organic plant products contain more dry matter and minerals ­ such as iron and magnesium ­ and more antioxidant polyphenols like phenols and salicylic acid. Data on carbohydrate, protein and vitamin levels are insufficiently documented, he said.
Organic animal products were seen to have more polyunsaturated fats.

Is nutrition important?
In the wake of the FSA report publication, organic groups and the media debated the reasons for consumers¹ keenness to buy organic produce. Many concluded that nutritional benefit is not necessarily at the forefront of
their minds, but they are more driven by food safety and environmental aspects such as pesticide use.
Unlike the authors of the FSA study, Lairon did look at food safety. He concluded that between 94 and 100 per cent of organic food does not contain any pesticide residues, and organic vegetables have about 50 per cent less nitrates.
Organic cereals, however, were seen to have similar levels of mycotoxins overall compared with conventional cereals.

Emphasis on quality
The FSA study looked at evidence from studies published in the English language, and notably drew attention to shortfalls in the methodology of many which means their findings could not be included.
The original AFSSA report, too, placed a high onus on quality or study.
Selected papers had to refer to well-defined and certified organic agricultural practices, and have information on design and follow-up, valid measured parametres and appropriate sampling and statistical analysis.

Agronomy for Sustainable Development (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/agro/2009019
³Nutritional quality an safety of organic food. A review²
Author: Lairon, D.
Abs, Ralph

3 comentários:

  1. Oi, Richard,
    com boas práticas de manejo os convencionais tb podem ter qualidade, e com más práticas de manejo os orgânicos podem ser um lixo. Por isso do controle rigoroso dos orgânicos (e o relaxado dos convencionais).

  2. Fernando Penteado Cardoso12 de setembro de 2009 23:14

    Sob ângulo comercial, compreendo os franceses.
    Agora, sob aspecto técnico / científico inclino-me para os ingleses.

  3. Richard,
    um pouco de polêmica não faz mal a ninguém: O texto abaixo foi publicado na Índia, dia 7 último:
    Eduardo Daher

    A false choice
    There is need for both organic and inorganic food Business Standard / New Delhi August 7, 2009, 0:37 IST

    The findings of a study sponsored by the British Food Standards Agency, that organic food is no healthier and provides no significant nutritional benefit when compared with conventionally produced food, may have irked the proponents of organic agriculture but it comes as no surprise to farm scientists. This latter group had always believed and argued that, qualitatively, there is hardly any difference between organically and inorganically produced foods. The difference is basically in productivity. Inorganic agriculture, involving the use of chemical fertiliser and pesticides, gives a far higher out-turn than organic farming where the use of any artificial and/or chemical input is strictly forbidden. Though organic food lobbyists worldwide have rubbished the British report, which is based on 162 scientific papers published in scientific journals over the last 50 years, there is little or no reason to doubt the credentials of those who have put this study together. Besides, agricultural scientists have sound logic to back them. They argue that plant roots absorb nutrients in their most elementary form, regardless of the source they come from. The quality of the produce depends largely on inherent genetic traits and the overall health of the plants, and not so much on the way they are grown. That is why different varieties of the same crop, having dissimilar genetic make-up, yield foods of dissimilar quality even if grown in a similar manner.

    The real problem with non-organic foods is the presence of pesticide residues owing to the indiscriminate use of plant protection chemicals. The problems posed by chemical fertiliser are basically environmental, because they usually spew harmful gases and also leach down to contaminate underground water. But toxic residues in foods are common in countries like India, where farmers routinely disregard instructions for safe use of pesticides. The consumers of organic foods can at least be sure that they are not ingesting health-injurious toxins.

    This means it is futile to debate the superiority of one form of produce over another. Both organic and inorganic forms of agriculture have their place in farming systems. While organic farming, producing chemical-free foods, has a niche and rapidly-growing market, reckoned globally at $48 billion in 2007, inorganic agriculture is needed to feed the ever-swelling human and livestock population. Organic farming is expanding rapidly in India too, in response to the growth in demand for chemical-free products. The total area under organic agriculture, estimated at over 530,000 hectares in 2008, is projected by the agriculture ministry to expand to nearly two million hectares by 2015. This should be deemed a welcome development as there is no reason why consumers who are willing to pay higher prices for organically-produced safe foods should be denied such products. But since the real challenge before mankind is to ensure food security for the millions, high-yielding, conventional agriculture is indispensable, whether it uses chemical inputs or not.

    Tags : British Food Standards Agency


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