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France: Organic consumers have a better diet

A new study published by INRA shows that large consumers of organic products have a diet which is more in line with nutritional recommendations. They also have a lower environmental impact and reduced exposure to pesticides.

The research institute surveyed 29,000 adults in 2014 as part of the French BioNutriNet project, which assesses the nutritional, environmental, economic and toxicological dimensions of an organic diet.

This study shows that, compared to non-consumers, the large consumers of organic products have different dietary habits that include more plants (plant/animal protein ratio of 14.29 to 0.46) and fewer animal products. They consume 51% less red meat and 38% fewer dairy products. Contrary to popular belief, their energy intakes are also significantly higher: 2,115 kcal/day vs. 2.040 kcal/day.

The diet of bio-conscious consumers is less harmful to the environment. It produces fewer greenhouse gases (7 lbs CO2eq/day vs. 11.18 lbs CO2eq/day) and also requires less primary energy (14.67 vs. 19.72 MJ/day).

Finally, organic enthusiasts are less exposed to synthetic pesticide residues through their diet. Scientists measured gaps of 23 to 100% depending on the molecules, with an average of -40%. The cost of their diet, on the other hand, is higher.


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