Study: Organic has More Antioxidants, Much Fewer Pesticides, and Less Cadmium than Conventionally-Grown

Written by Max Goldberg on July 13, 2014. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

organic food better nutrition

The evidence as to why people should choose organic over conventional just keeps rolling in.

In a brand new study just published by researchers at Newcastle University in England, it was found that organic fruits, vegetables, and grains contained higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides compared to the same conventionally-grown food.

Some details of the study include:

– The concentration of a range of antioxidants was significantly greater in organic than conventionally-grown:

* Phenolic acids: 19% more

* Flavanones: 69% more

* Stilbenes: 28% more

* Flavones: 26% more

* Flavonols: 50% more

* Anthocyanins: 51% more

Many of these compounds have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and certain cancers.

– The frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was found to be four times higher in conventional crops.

– Organically-grown foods, most notably grains, contained lower levels of cadmium, a toxic metal.

This study did not do its own testing of fruits and vegetables but was a meta-analysis based on 343 previous peer-reviewed publications. 


None of this surprises me in the least, and this is just more confirmation of individual studies we have seen, which said that:

– Organic milk offers higher levels of Omega 3-s.

– Organic strawberries provide greater concentrations of ascorbic acid.

– Organic tomatoes have increased amounts of antioxidants.

What I hope people take from this study is that when comparing the price of an organic food item vs. a non-organic food item, increased nutrition must be factored into the equation.

As this study has pointed out, we are getting more for our dollar when we buy organic and conventional offers inferior nutrition.

For some organic superfoods with really high levels of antioxidants, check out:

E3 Live

Sunfood Goji Berries

Vibrant Health Field of Greens

Organic Traditions Maqui Berry Powder

Earth Circle Organics Cacao Powder


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  1. Great post, Max. I myself try to buy organic as frequently as I can – however at my local farmers’ market, the amount of conventional farmers far outweigh organic farmers. I still visit my favorite organic farm stand during my trips, but I’m looking forward to seeing a broader shift toward organic produce consumption and farming.

    Written by Sam on July 13, 2014 @ 8:54 pm
  2. Thanks, Sam! The shift towards organic farming is definitely happening as consumers are driving this change. One issue is farmers’ transition to organic. It is a 3-year process where they have to practice organic farming but don’t get organic prices for their crops.

    Written by Max Goldberg on July 13, 2014 @ 9:48 pm
  3. Great article, Max. What do you do with the berry powder?

    Written by marge201 on July 13, 2014 @ 11:39 pm
  4. Great article, Max! I tweeted it and posted it to my Facebook page, Healthy Organic Woman.

    Since we last spoke, my Healthy Organic Woman newsletter list has been steadily climbing, and I’m also answering similar questions about the value of organics and the price. This information helps me respond better.

    Thanks for continuing to be a leader in the organics movement. We need as many people as possible shouting about the benefits of organics, and how to avoid GMOs!

    Written by Lynda Goldman on July 15, 2014 @ 12:41 pm
  5. Tom Sanders, a professor of nutrition at King’s College London, said the research did show some differences. “But the question is are they within natural variation? And are they nutritionally relevant? I am not convinced.”

    Written by viriato77 on July 17, 2014 @ 5:13 pm
  6. The greatest criticism, however, will be over the suggestions of potential health benefits. The most recent major analysis, which took in 223 studies in 2012, found little evidence. “The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods,” it found.

    Written by viriato77 on July 17, 2014 @ 5:15 pm
  7. Hi Marge,

    I used the maqui berry powder in my smoothies.

    Live well,

    Written by Max Goldberg on July 18, 2014 @ 11:37 am
  8. Thanks, Lynda. Happy to hear about your success.

    Live well,

    Written by Max Goldberg on July 18, 2014 @ 11:38 am
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