Health Benefits of Organic Food: Effects of the Environment

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Public concern over impacts of chemicals in plant and animal production on health and the environment has led to increased demand for organic produce, which is usually promoted and often perceived as containing fewer contaminants, more nutrients, and being positive for the environment.

These benefits are difficult to quantify, and potential environmental impacts on such benefits have not been widely studied. This book addresses these key points, examining factors such as the role of certain nutrients in prevention and promotion of chronic disease, potential health benefits of bioactive compounds in plants, the prevalence of food-borne pesticides and pathogens and how both local and global environmental factors may affect any differences between organic and conventionally produced food.

With contributions from experts in a broad range of related disciplines, this book is an essential resource for researchers and students in human health and nutrition, environmental science, agriculture and organic farming.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It is an interesting and timely snapshot of our understanding of these issues with well-written articles from respected authors in many areas relevant to human health ranging from the effect of n-3 fatty acids to dietary flavonoids to selenium to contaminants in foods. Although the book is necessarily limited by the set-up of the original workshop, the choice of authors and the breadth of topics explored are excellent."--Experimental Agriculture

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845934590
  • Publisher: CAB International North America
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Series: CABI Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Givens is currently Professor of Animal Science, Director of the Animal Sciences Research Group (incorporating the Nutritional Sciences Research Unit, Biomathematics and the Centre for Dairy Research) and Joint Leader of Food Chain and Health Research in the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Reading. He specializes in food chain nutrition, which includes the impact of animal-derived foods on human health. He is also an expert on the relationship between the nutrition of animals, the composition of the foods they produce and their impact on human nutrition and chronic disease.

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Table of Contents

1. Organic farming and food systems – definitions and key characteristics.
2. The health benefits of n-3 fatty acids and their concentrations in organic and conventional animal-derived foods.
3. Environmental impacts on n-3 content of foods from ruminant animals.
4. Health benefits and selenium content of organic vs conventional foods.
5. Environmental impacts concerning the selenium content of foods.
6. Contaminants in organic and conventional food: the missing link between contaminant levels and health effects.
7. Mycotoxins in organic and conventional foods and effects of the environment.
8. Human pathogens in organic and conventional foods and effects of the environment.
9. What does consumer science tell us about organic foods?
10. The beneficial effects of dietary flavonoids: sources, bioavailability and biological functions.
11. Environmental regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis.
12. Nitrates in the human diet.
13. Impacts of environment and management on nitrate in vegetables and water.
14. Effects of the environment on the nutritional quality and safety of organically produced foods: Round-up and summary.

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