Chair: Peter Melchett (Policy Director, Soil Association) Speakers: Anne-Marie Mayer (independent nutritionist), Marcin Baranski (NEFG, Newcastle University), Chuck Benbrook (Benbrook Consulting), Carlo Leifert (NEFG, Newcastle University)
Consumer perceptions that organic and low input (e.g. grass-fed dairy and meat products) foods have a higher nutritional quality are a main driver for demand. However, although recent studies suggest that there are nutritionally relevant differences between organic and conventional foods there is still considerable controversy about whether or not these differences result in health benefits. The session will review and critically discuss current knowledge on (a) historical changes in food composition, (b) composition differences between organic, low-input and conventional foods and (c) potential health impacts of organic food consumption.