Despite organic produce being more expensive, its popularity has grown in recent years, following media reports claiming that organic produce is more nutritious and that artificial fertilisers and pesticides may increase the risk of some diseases, including cancer.
However, there is currently no strong evidence to support the idea that organic foods offer added protection against cancer compared to conventionally grown produce.
In fact, research strongly indicates that, when it comes to eating well for cancer prevention, the bottom line is: enjoy vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and pulses however you can – fresh, frozen, canned, conventional or organic, they are all good for you. It’s also important to note that most countries, including the UK, have regulations on the amounts of pesticides in food to ensure that their levels are well within safe limits.2
Whether organic or not, vegetables and fruits are a good source of the vitamins and minerals that are vital for good health. They also provide dietary fibre and a variety of phytonutrients that protect us from cancer. Aiming to have at least five portions of vegetables and fruits every day is an important step in preventing cancer.
1. NHS Choices. Health news [online]. 2012. Available at: www.nhs.uk/ news/2012/09September/Pages/ Organic-food-wont-make-you- healthier.aspx
2. European Commission. Food Safety [online]. 2015. Available at: ec.europa.eu/food/plant/ pesticides/max_residue_ levels/eu_rules/index_en.htm