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Food quality and organic agriculture

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kirsten BrandtORCiD


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In response to the greatly increased market share of organic food, there is an increasing interest in investigating whether there is any difference in the effects of organic and conventional food on health. Previous studies have not been able to provide definitive proof for differences between these two food production systems in terms of human health. This conclusion mainly suggest that the designs of these studies were neither adequate to provide such proof, nor targeted to those aspects where differences are most likely. However, there are ample examples that the methods used for food production do make a difference to food composition or other aspects of its quality, and that these differences are large enough to make a real difference for the consumer in terms of health. While these differences may cause yet unproven general differences in food quality between organic and conventional products, many of the methods that benefit food quality are not necessarily restricted to either organic or conventional systems. Understanding the links between production methods and food quality, therefore, allows improvement of the products of any system, whether organic or conventional. However, some of these benefits are linked with what is common practice in organic farming, and for these the main challenge can be to conserve existing quality benefits during further development of the productivity of organic methods.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brandt K, Mølgaard J-P

Editor(s): Kristiansen, P., Taji, A., Reganold, J.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Organic Agriculture A Global Perspective

Year: 2006

Pages: 305-327

Publisher: CABI Publishing

Place Published: Wallingford, Connecticut, USA


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781845931698