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June 2024
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The Nutrition Decision: Organic or Conventional?

Organic Maintains Lead in Debate over Nutrition

Basket of organic apples.

Basket of organic apples.

For several years now, the British Nutrition Foundation has doggedly held by the notion that organic produce is no more nutritious than conventional produce.  They hold that the only real reason one ought to pony up the extra two to three bucks for a head of lettuce or a peck of peppers is to preserve farmers’ soil from which vegetables derive, as organic farmers don’t use artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

That, in and of itself, is a reason to go organic.  But there’s an increasing amount of evidence that suggests organic produce is indeed more nutritious than conventional produce.  And it’s not just studies drummed up from several years ago.  These are very recent studies, one of which was done on the f’apple’ous apple.

According to German researchers who published their findings in the most recent issuing of the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, organically-grown apples produce 15 percent more antioxidants than conventionally-grown apples.  They discovered this after a three-year observational study that literally started from the ground up:  comparing how apples produced conventionally to those produced organically measured up in terms of how much polyphenols they produced by harvest time (polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found primarily in the skin of fruits that have loads of anti-cancer properties, not to mention anti-aging properties).  Their results indicated that those grown organically – the golden delicious variety, between 2005 and 2006 – yielded 15 percent more antioxidant capacity than the conventional crop.

A finding like this flies in the face of some scientists who argue that not only do organic foods have no nutritional benefit over conventional produce, but that conventional produce is more nutritious than organic produce, as a Rutgers University scientist asserts!!

He’s entitled to his opinion, but I’m curious if he – unlike the British Nutrition Foundation – is willing to modify his assertion after this study.  Or how about the University of California-Davis study on tomatoes, which found that organically-grown tomatoes had approximately 100 percent more quercetin than conventionally-grown tom-toms (quercetin is a chemical compound known for it’s anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties).  Or how about the finding published in a 2007 issuing of the Nutrition Bulletin, which found “strong and consistent” evidence of more vitamin C found in organically-grown potatoes than conventionally grown spuds.

The great thing about science is that it’s always improving; what wasn’t known at one point becomes known, due to advancements in technology and methodology.  The not-so-great thing about science – or should I say scientists? – are those who are too pigheaded to believe that they could be, in fact, wrong about something.

Eventually, some will change their tune. In the meantime, don’t stop humming this unchained melody:   Organic foods are not only better for the earth, but they’re better for you nutritionally – whether they’re kiwis or apples, tomatoes or potatoes (I’ll talk about the kiwi study in a future article).


Related Posts

  1. Retail Giant Under Investigation Over Allegedly Deceiving Organic Claims…
  2. UK Government’s New Labeling Law Would Allow Food Companies To “Cash In” on The Organic Label
  3. “Cloudy” Apple Juice Contains Higher Level of Antioxidant Activity Than “Clear” Juice
  4. Exposure to Pesticides & Men’s Cancer Risks
  5. Food Combining Offers Miraculous Health Benefits, Research Reveals

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