OCTOBER 2007 Archive
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Ten-Year Comparison of the Influence of Organic and Conventional Crop Management Practices on the Content of Flavonoids in Tomatoes
Abstract:“Understanding how environment, crop management, and other factors, particularly soil fertility, influence the composition and quality of food crops is necessary for the production of high-quality nutritious foods. The flavonoid aglycones quercetin and kaempferol were measured in dried tomato samples (Lycopersicon esculentum L. cv. Halley 3155) that had been archived over the period from 1994 to 2004 from the Long-Term Research on Agricultural Systems project (LTRAS) at the University of California-Davis, which began in 1993. Conventional and organic processing tomato production systems are part of the set of systems compared at LTRAS. Comparisons of analyses of archived samples from conventional and organic production systems demonstrated statistically higher levels (P < 0.05) of quercetin and kaempferol aglycones in organic tomatoes. Ten-year mean levels of quercetin and kaempferol in organic tomatoes [115.5 and 63.3 mg g-1 of dry matter (DM)] were 79 and 97% higher than those in conventional tomatoes (64.6 and 32.06 mg g-1 of DM), respectively. The levels of flavonoids increased over time in samples from organic treatments, whereas the levels of flavonoids did not vary significantly in conventional treatments. This increase corresponds not only with increasing amounts of soil organic matter accumulating in organic plots but also with reduced manure application rates once soils in the organic systems had reached equilibrium levels of organic matter. Well-quantified changes in tomato nutrients over years in organic farming systems have not been reported previously.”
University of California – Davis (June 2007)
And what does the FSA say?:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6272634.stm (July 2007)
Flavonoids have also been linked with reduced rates of some types of cancer and dementia.
The Food Standards Agency says there is some evidence that flavonoids can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and they are currently carrying out a study to look at the health benefits in more detail.
However, a spokesperson said there was no evidence that organic food was healthier.
“Our long-standing advice on organic food is there can be some nutrient differences but it doesn't mean it's necessarily better for you.”
Rock on! Will these stalwarts be given the honour and recognition they deserve, by the world of vested interest – I doubt it.
Research evidence to confirm what we already believed is mounting:
No comment necessary – sorted innit?
Here it is, what we've all known for, well, for ever ….
“ORGANIC food is substantially more healthy and beneficial, according to a massive pan-European survey based on a farm owned by Newcastle University.
The 14 million pound survey, the biggest survey ever carried out in Europe, “proved” that organic fruit and vegetables have 40% more vitamins and disease-preventing anti-oxidants – and organic milk held a staggering 90% more.”
Of course, vested interest has had a manful go at stemming the tide of information but the truth will out:
“The government's Food Standards Agency (FSA) recently criticised organic food, saying that its benefits over conventional produce were questionable. The present Foreign Secretary David Miliband, when he was DEFRA minister, said the difference between the two was largely a choice of lifestyle, rather than healthy eating.”
Reducing this finding to just one of its components, it is logical to assume that organic food may actually be a cheaper way to purchase the necessary nutrients for health, as you need to eat less to obtain what you need!
This massive piece of research should serve to open people's eyes to the truth and to the obvious fact that we should all be eating ‘organic'. It would be great to look into the future and see ‘organic food' becoming the norm, just being called ‘food' and what is currently ‘ordinary food' being labelled ‘chemical food'. After all, ‘organic' was basically what everyone ate, before the march of the agro-chemical industry.
“Four out of five vets said they were seeing more overweight and obese animals, according to 143 practices who were contacted in a survey.
Overweight pets risk serious health problems, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) warned.
Podgy pet “fat clinics” have been set up by more than three quarters of vets.
Pet obesity can cause arthritis, high blood pressure, poor liver function and diabetes, amongst other conditions.
A leaflet that warns pet owners of the dangers of letting their animals get overweight has been launched as part of RSPCA Week. ” – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4939082.stm
I believe it is more or less accepted that human obesity is related to unsuitable foods and lifestyle. Why do we not draw this obvious conclusion for our pets? The modern obesity ‘epidemic' of dogs (and cats) should be no mystery. We feed our animals unsuitable (manufactured and processed) diets and should only expect trouble, in both health and bodyweight. Why do veterinary practices and the RSPCA still promote such feeding practices? Why are such foods not openly condemned? Instead, veterinary practices sell them. The RSPCA has even ‘teamed up' with a vet who markets his own foods, under the disguise of ‘fresh'. Any financial or business links should be transparent. These foods may be an improvement over the usual manufactured and highly-processed foods but they still cannot be described as ‘fresh'.
Pet obesity is on the increase, coincidental with the inexorable march of commercial foods. The disease problems listed by the RSPCA may also be a result of the unhealthy food (rather than actually being caused by the obesity as the RSPCA suggests) but that would be a difficult area of research to be certain. Those who feed a natural fresh diet usually find no problems keeping their dogs slim.
I had a stark illustration of this simple and obvious fact, last month on the Rock of Gibraltar. At the tourist shop, scavenging Barbary Apes (Macaca sylvanus and in fact tail-less macaque monkeys, not apes) were picking up waste food from the unsuitable human food prevalent at such places (sweets, cakes, ice cream etc.). They were obese! No other word sufficed. They were also very bad-tempered.
Their fellows out on the rock proper, fed fresh fruit (in plenty, so quantity did not appear to be the factor), were lissom, hard and fit.
Somehow, the answers to most problems can be found in our everyday lives, if we keep our eyes open and think carefully about what we see.
It would appear that the big multi-national commercial pet food manufacturers are now exploring the potentially huge market in ever-more-prosperous India and other ‘new' markets. Commercialism knows no bounds.
We are even moving towards ‘lifestyle drugs' with pets, with a new anti-obesity drug! Am I the daft one?