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rednicka-Tober D.,Newcastle University | rednicka-Tober D.,Warsaw University of Life Sciences | Baranski M.,Newcastle University | Seal C.,Northumbria University | And 24 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2016

Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed. © The Authors 2016 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.. Source


Lundmark F.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Berg C.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Schmid O.,Research Institute for Organic Agriculture FiBL | Behdadi D.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Rocklinsberg H.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics | Year: 2014

The focus on animal welfare in society has increased during the last 50 years. Animal welfare legislation and private standards have developed, and today many farmers within animal production have both governmental legislation and private standards to comply with. In this paper intentions and values are described that were expressed in 14 animal welfare legislation and standards in four European countries; Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. It is also discussed if the legislation and standards actually accomplish what they, in their overall description and ethics, claimed to do, i.e. if this is followed up by relevant paragraphs in the actual body of the text in the legislation and standards respectively. The method used was an on-line questionnaire from the EconWelfare research project and text analyses. This study shows that the ethical values within a set of legislation or private standards are not always consistently implemented, and it is not always possible to follow a thread between the intentions mentioned initially and the actual details of the legislation or standard. Since values will differ so will also the animal welfare levels and the implications of similar concepts in the regulations. In general, the regulations described were not based on animal welfare considerations only, but also other aspects, such as food safety, meat quality, environmental aspects and socio-economic aspects were taken into account. This is understandable, but creates a gap between explicit and implicit values, which we argue, can be overcome if such considerations are made more transparent to the citizens/consumers. © 2014, The Author(s). Source


Rodionov A.,University of Bonn | Rodionov A.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | Nii-Annang S.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | Fischer T.,Central University of Costa Rica | And 6 more authors.
Soil Use and Management | Year: 2014

Application of hydrophilic polymers composed of cross-linked polyacrylate can improve soil water-holding capacity and accelerate the restoration of post-mining substrates. In this work, we studied the persistence of a polyacrylate polymer incorporated into a soil and its impact on plant nutrients at a reclamation site of former lignite mining in Lusatia (Germany). In contrast to autumn application, the incorporation of the polymer enhanced the sequestration of plant-derived carbon in the soil, which was reflected by a significant increase in the concentration of a lignin marker. Attenuated total reflexion-Fourier transform infrared spectra (ATR-FTIR) and total elemental contents in the applied polymer suggested an intensive cation exchange between the polymer framework and the soil-forming substrate. In addition, there was an enrichment of carbonaceous material, which seems to reduce the swelling and thus the water-holding capacity of the cross-linked polyacrylate. Conversely, this process protected the polymer structure from rapid decomposition. © 2014 British Society of Soil Science. Source


rednicka-Tober D.,Newcastle University | rednicka-Tober D.,Warsaw University of Life Sciences | Baranski M.,Newcastle University | Seal C.J.,Northumbria University | And 24 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2016

Demand for organic milk is partially driven by consumer perceptions that it is more nutritious. However, there is still considerable uncertainty over whether the use of organic production standards affects milk quality. Here we report results of meta-analyses based on 170 published studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and conventional bovine milk. There were no significant differences in total SFA and MUFA concentrations between organic and conventional milk. However, concentrations of total PUFA and n-3 PUFA were significantly higher in organic milk, by an estimated 7 (95 % CI -1, 15) % and 56 (95 % CI 38, 74) %, respectively. Concentrations of α-linolenic acid (ALA), very long-chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) and conjugated linoleic acid were also significantly higher in organic milk, by an 69 (95 % CI 53, 84) %, 57 (95 % CI 27, 87) % and 41 (95 % CI 14, 68) %, respectively. As there were no significant differences in total n-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) concentrations, the n-6:n-3 and LA:ALA ratios were lower in organic milk, by an estimated 71 (95 % CI -122, -20) % and 93 (95 % CI -116, -70) %. It is concluded that organic bovine milk has a more desirable fatty acid composition than conventional milk. Meta-analyses also showed that organic milk has significantly higher α-tocopherol and Fe, but lower I and Se concentrations. Redundancy analysis of data from a large cross-European milk quality survey indicates that the higher grazing/conserved forage intakes in organic systems were the main reason for milk composition differences. © The Authors 2016 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.. Source


Schmitt E.,Research Institute for Organic Agriculture FiBL | Schmitt E.,ETH Zurich | Keech D.,Countryside and Community Research Institute CCRI | Maye D.,Countryside and Community Research Institute CCRI | And 2 more authors.
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2016

Local food has recently gained popularity under the assumption that it is more sustainable than food from distant locations. However, evidence is still lacking to fully support this assumption. The goal of this study is to compare local and global food chains in five dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic, social, ethical and health), covering all stages of the chain. In particular, four cheese supply chains are compared in detail: a local (L'Etivaz) and global (Le Gruyère) case in Switzerland and a local (Single Gloucester) and global (Cheddar) case in the UK. A multi-dimensional perspective is adopted to compare their sustainability performance. Eight attributes of performance (affordability, creation and distribution of added value, information and communication, consumer behaviour, resource use, biodiversity, nutrition and animal welfare) are used to frame the comparative analysis. The results suggest that local cheese performs better in the field of added value creation and distribution, animal welfare and biodiversity. Global chains, by contrast, perform better in terms of affordability and efficiency and some environmental indicators. This analysis needed to be expressed in qualitative terms rather than quantified indicators and it has been especially useful to identify the critical issues and trade-offs that hinder sustainability at different scales. Cheese supply chains in Switzerland and the UK also often present hybrid arrangements in term of local and global scales. Comparison is therefore most meaningful when presented on a local (farmhouse)/global (creamery) continuum. © 2016 by the authors. Source

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