Agriculture is a big part of the world’s food supply, but we often ignore its impact on our health, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of California at Davis and the University at Albany analysed data on 1.2 million people from 26 countries to find out how much organic food was consumed in each country, as well as how much was consumed by people with specific dietary or health needs.
They found that organic food consumption was a significant predictor of healthy weight, with healthier people eating more organic food and being healthier overall.
Organic foods are generally higher in nutrients and lower in calories than conventional foods, the study found.
The researchers also found that the consumption of organic food had a strong relationship with the health of people with particular health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis.
Organically grown crops are grown in environments that are generally less polluted than conventional farms.
These include greenhouses, irrigation systems, composting, fertiliser and manure.
The use of organic waste minimises the use of fertiliser or pesticide, the researchers said.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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