How often do you eat organic food? The results of a study may encourage you to add more to your shopping cart and your diet.
Using a sample of nearly 69,000 volunteers, researchers at the University of Paris compared the risk of receiving a cancer diagnosis in adults who frequently consumed organic foods to adults who rarely or almost never consumed organic meals. The study, in which the volunteers self-reported their diets, showed the high organic food diet was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of cancer.
European Union organic food standards ensure foods with the coveted label have no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or GMOs involved in their production. As a result, organic foods in the EU are less likely to contain chemical residue from pesticides than conventional foods.
With an average follow-up of over four years, researchers identified more than 1,300 [thirteen hundred] cases of cancer among the participants. The most common were breast cancers, followed by prostate cancer and melanoma.
While the overall risk of cancer fell with an organic diet, the data showed only lymphomas and postmenopausal breast cancers decreased in frequency as organic food consumption rose.
Writing in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers said promoting organic food consumption can help lower cancer rates, but the higher cost of organic foods acts as a significant barrier for poorer and at-risk populations.
Lowering the price of organic food may be a better way to fight cancer than raising awareness of its benefits. After all, it doesn’t help knowing the food is healthier if you can’t afford it.