• Will expanding organic consumption lead to healthier eating patterns?

International and Danish studies have shown that consumers with large budget shares of organic food tend to follow the official dietary guidelines more closely than other consumers. In this respect, organic consumers can be seen as having on average a healthier diet.

These findings appear to show that, whether or not organic products are intrinsically healthier foods than their conventional counterparts, there is a positive correlation between organic consumption and a dietary intake conforming with official dietary guidelines. However, the causal relations at work here are not yet understood. This means that it is unclear at present whether a positive effect on public health would follow if the general level of consumption of organic food were to increase.

Purpose of the project

The overall goal of the project is to investigate the extent to which wider consumption of organic foods would lead to a general increase in consumers’ observance of dietary guidelines in Denmark.

The project seeks to provide a deeper understanding of why organic consumers are more likely to follow the dietary advice, of how this positive correlation varies across different consumer segments, and of the roles that differing perceptions of health play in relation to organic food choices.

OrgHealth expects to identify barriers as well as opportunities for efforts to increase the number of people following (and their relative compliance with) official dietary guidelines through the development and improved communication of organic production and/or products in a specific direction.

In achieving these goals, the project will enable the researchers to evaluate the potential of organic consumption to improve public health through dietary change.

OrgHealth runs in the period 2016-2018.

Project leader

Peter Sandøe
Department of Food and Resource Economics,
University of Copenhagen Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen (IFRO)
Phone: + 45 3533 3059