Is eating organic food better for reducing my cancer risk?
It’s one of the most asked questions we get – especially now, with a new review of the research suggesting that organics contain more antioxidants than conventional foods.
With all the research on fruits, vegetables and other plant foods and cancer, AICR hasn’t had a lot to say about organics. There has been relatively little research on organics and cancer risk, with no clear conclusions except one: eating a diet that is mainly from plants – whether they are organic or conventional – reduces the risk of cancer.
The new analysis, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, included 343 studies from 1992 to 2012. (1992 was when the European Union started regulating organic farming; about 70% of the studies were from Europe.)
The authors looked at how organics and conventional plant foods compared in vitamins, minerals and groups of phytochemicals that have shown antioxidant — and cancer-protective — activity in lab studies. The researchers also compared levels of pesticide compounds.
At the same time that global warming is making news, a study suggests that eating more fruits, vegetables and nuts and less meat and alcohol — with fewer calories – can reduce greenhouse gas emission by almost 20 percent, compared to the average diet. Many of the dietary patterns identified as environmentally healthy align with AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is one of the first that takes into account foods nutrition along with its environmental impact.
Last month, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released estimates showing that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture was on the rise.
This study used greenhouse gas emissions related to farming and production as a measure of a food’s environmental impact. That includes methane produced by cows and fertilizers applied to crops.
For the study, researchers analyzed the diets of almost 2,000 French adults who were part of a nationally representative diet survey. Researchers categorized the foods into groups, calculating how its nutrients and calories contributed to a person’s overall daily diet. They also looked at how much the foods cost. Continue reading
Apples, bananas, granola bars, and 100% whole wheat bread; these were just a few of the healthy food items we promoted in corner stores in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the B’more Healthy: Retail Rewards program (BHRR) – a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health intervention project led by Dr. Joel Gittelsohn aimed at improving access and consumption of healthy foods for African American adults living in low-income areas of Baltimore.
Today’s Cancer Research Update has a piece on Dr. Gittelsohn’s work.
Approximately 68% of adults in Baltimore are either overweight or obese, which is higher than the percentage of overweight and obese adults nationally. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. In Baltimore, these diseases disproportionately affect low-income African Americans who tend to have diets low in fruits and vegetables and high in energy-dense processed fast food and sugary beverages. Continue reading