Organic Fruits and Vegetables: Potential Health Benefits and Risks

Background and methodology            
Due to the rapid growth of the organic food industry and the increasing popularity of organic fruits and vegetables, the health benefits and risks of organic produce are of significant importance. Are organic fruits and vegetables really better than conventional produce for the health of the consumer? This review compared organic and conventional produce in terms of nutritional value, pesticide contamination and microbial safety.


The current literature shows that organic produces tends to contain higher vitamin C and lower levels of nitrates, though more well controlled studies are necessary in order to reach any definitive conclusions. It has been definitively shown that organic produce contains fewer and lower levels of pesticides than conventional produce, though the long-term health consequences of ingestion of pesticides and the clinical relevance of fewer and lower levels of pesticides in organic food has yet to be determined. Organic farming methods can lead to microbiological contamination, but the literature has shown that organic produce can potentially be more beneficial, but certainly not more harmful than conventional produce for the health of the consumer.


Chen, M. C. (2005). Organic fruits and vegetables: Potential health benefits and risks.  Nutrition Noteworthy 7(1): Article 2.