Somewhere, a Whole Foods store is sighing. A study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture has questioned whether organic food is as nutritional as it's been toted. And the evidence? From the birds.
The three-year study found that wild birds preferred conventional seed over organic, likely due to its higher protein content which could help them survive the winter. In lab studies, canaries also preferred the conventional seed, which had approximately 10% more protein than the organic seed. Though the study did not take into account pesticides or other chemicals not found on organic food, it does prove a point regarding the nutritional benefits of eating organic.
Protein is an essential nutrient for mammals, especially difficult to acquire in winter. Researchers attribute part of the protein in conventional seeds to inorganic nitrogen fertilizers, apparently more nutritious than they sound.
The best part is the researchers shot a video of the feeding.
All of this to say that bird enthusiasts can think about losing the cost of organic feed for their feathered friends, and stick to the generic brand. For humans, the jury’s still out.