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The ‘truth’ behind organic foods, food additives and public nutrition studies

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The ‘truth’ behind organic foods, food additives and public nutrition studies

June 16
10:17 2012
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In his latest book Something to Chew On, UCD Professor of Food and Health, Mike Gibney dispels some of the commonly held beliefs about organic foods, food additives, and public nutrition studies.

Gibney on organic foods:

  • “The widely held belief that organic food is more nutritious than conventional food does not stand up to scrutiny. There is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organic and conventionally produced foodstuffs”


  • “Carrots taste like carrots, whether they originate from organic or conventional systems of agriculture”

“The oft-stated superiority of organic versus conventional farming in terms of environmental impact quickly crumbles when carefully examined”

Gibney on food additives:

“All chemicals, which are synthetic, are subject to intensive testing. Natural plant chemicals are not. If they were, many would not pass the rigorous standards set for their synthetic counterparts”

  • “E-numbers have become feared and largely misunderstood. In the EU, because of the multilingual nature of the region, food additives were assigned E-numbers for any consumer who wanted to avoid a particular food additive”


Gibney on public health nutrition studies:

  • “When you read a study linking meat with colon cancer, or almond with heart disease or whatever, bear in mind that upwards of 40% of people are not truthfully reporting their dietary intake”

About the book:

Something to Chew On is an informative and entertaining book which covers from a scientific point of view all of the worldwide controversies dominating the popular press in relation to the safety and wholesomeness of the modern food chain. It deals with the topics of organic food, GM foods, obesity, growing old, the integrity of food research, global warming, global malnutrition, consumer perception of food-borne risk, our gut bacteria, and how nutrition during pregnancy primes us for health in later life.


The book is highly suitable for the general reader and will be an invaluable guide to the science of nutrition for students of food and health.

About the author:

Professor Mike Gibney is Director of the Institute of Food and Health at University College Dublin. He has a global reputation for research on food and nutrition and he has served on all high-level advisory committees of national, EU and UN agencies. He is the author of a popular book Nutrition, Diet and Health (Cambridge University Press).

Book Details:

ISBN 978-1-906359-67-6



Contact Details: Author

Professor Mike Gibney

Director UCD Institute of Food and Health

University College Dublin



Contact Details: Publisher

UCD Press
Newman House
86 St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2
Ph: 353 1 477 9813


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