A new study conducted on 68,946 adults found that those who ate organic food more frequently were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer, compared to those who never ate organic food. The NutriNet-Santé study was published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.
French researchers followed the study volunteers for four years, on average. The participants were split into four groups that were based on how often they were given 16 organic products, which include fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments. During the study period, study participants developed a total of 1,340 cancers with breast cancer being the most common, followed by prostate, skin and colorectal cancers and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
According to the study results, those who consumed organic produce, dairy, meat and other products more frequently reduced their risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 73 percent and they were 21 percent less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancers. Interestingly, those who consumed smaller amounts of organic food also reduced their cancer risks, suggesting a potential benefit to even occasional consumption of organic products.
The authors of this study theorize that these health results are due to the fact that organic foods are significantly less contaminated than conventional foods. According to Julia Baudry, an epidemiologist at Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in France and the lead researcher of this study, these results could mean that organic foods can be used to prevent cancer.
“If the findings of this study are confirmed, promoting organic food consumption in the general population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer,” concluded the researchers.
It’s no secret that the majority of non-organic products available in the grocery store have been grown or produced using various pesticides. Consumers have access to the Pesticide Data Program report issued by the US Department of Agriculture which informs the public about pesticide residues that are found on foods.
Although some people argue that the number of pesticides used on conventional produce isn’t enough to harm consumers significantly, this study is likely to persuade health-focused consumers towards organic options. The organic food industry is already popular among millennial consumers who actively look for “clean label” and natural foods. However, the issue with producing only organic products is the cost on both the consumer’s and manufacturer’s end.
Nevertheless, there are new technologies that allow food companies to grow their own organic produce. Portable indoor farms are growing in popularity in the industry for their ability to grow organic produce indoors without being affected by the elements and insects. Indoor farms such as Grow Pod Solutions’ allow food companies to grow organic fruits and vegetables in urban cities which results in fresh, local and organic products.