The authors of this study, known as the Million Women Study, said at the time that wealthier, more educated women in the study, who were more likely to buy organic foods, also had risk factors that increase the likelihood of breast cancer, how fewer children and higher alcohol consumption.
The organic food market has grown in recent years in both Europe and the United States. Organic food sales rose to US $ 45.2 billion last year, according to the Organic Trade Association's 2018 survey.
In order for food to be certified as organic by the Department of Agriculture, the products need to be marketed without the use of organic food Most synthetic fertilizers are grown and pesticides and must not contain genetically modified organisms. Meat must be produced by feeding animals that have fed organic foods without the use of hormones or antibiotics. According to the Bio-Trade Group, such items now represent 5.5 percent of all food sold in retail stores.
For the study, the researchers recruited 68,946 volunteers, who were on average 44 when the study began. The vast majority, 78 percent, were women.
Participants provided detailed information on how often they consumed 16 different types of organic foods. Researchers asked for a wide range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, dairy and soy products, meat, fish and eggs, as well as grains and legumes, bread and cereals, flour, oils and spices, wine, coffee and tea, biscuits and Chocolate and sugar and even supplements. The volunteers of the study provided three 24-hour records of their intake, including portion sizes, over a two-week period.
The information was much more detailed than that of participants in the British Million Women study, who responded to a single question on how often they have eaten organically.