Organic Farming and Human Health

Background and methodology
Organic plant production is characterized by relatively low levels of nutrient supply. Compared to conventional farming, this leads to an earlier completion of vegetative growth and an earlier onset of maturity process. Organic animal production is based on the use of roughage, outdoor production and lower growth rate compared to conventional farming.

The organic production system is believed to influence the nutritional quality of foods. In general, organic plant products are more mature than conventionally produced plant products. As a result of maturity, organic plant products tend to have a higher content of dry matter and vitamin C and a lower concentration of nitrate. Secondary metabolites are often synthesized primarily during maturation of plant products. Organic food products are expected to have higher content of secondary metabolites Organic foods contain. Farm animals have increased access to out-door areas in the organic production system. This exposes animals to dioxin and infection with ex. Salmonella and Campylobacter. However, in the out-door production system the density of farm animals is low, thus reducing the pressure of infection. Restricted use of antibiotics in organic farms decreases the problems of resistant bacteria attacking humans.

Mølgaard, J. P. (2004). The perspectives in Organic farming in relation to human health. Danish Research Centre for Organic Farming (DARCOF)/ Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences. Archived at [Unpublished]