Study Shows Organic Food is Healthier to Eat

A study shows organic food is healthier to eat. We know that organic produce has less pesticide residue than nonorganic crops, but do they actually have more nutrients? A new study shows organics have a nutritional edge over their nonorganic competition.

| December 2007/January 2008

A new study from the University of California-Davis has uncovered higher levels of flavonoids (plant compounds thought to protect against cancer, dementia and heart disease) in organically grown tomatoes.

Is Organic Food Healthier to Eat?

The answer appears to be yes. A new study from the University of California-Davis offers more evidence that organically raised vegetables are healthier than those grown under nonorganic practices that rely on chemicals for fertilization and weed, pest and disease control.

Led by professor and food chemist Alyson Mitchell, the study compared levels of two flavonoids — quercetin and kaempferol — in organic and nonorganic tomatoes. Flavonoids are plant compounds thought to have a variety of health-promoting properties, including protection against cancer, dementia and heart disease.

The results were decisive. Averaged over 10 years, levels of quercetin were 79 percent higher in the organically grown fruit, and levels of kaempferol were 97 percent higher. “We sort of went into this expecting higher levels,” Mitchell told The New York Times. “We did not expect to find the levels that we found.”

The study also found that flavonoid levels increased over time as organic cultivation methods steadily improved soil quality. Average yields in the organic and nonorganic plots were the same.

Efforts are underway to improve flavonoid levels in plant foods through variety selection and genetic manipulations, but this study shows that using organic methods can achieve the same end while also benefiting farmers and our environment.

Connie Grazier
7/22/2008 5:29:26 AM

Love your magazine...yes, I subscribe. Please remove the very annoying "subscribe" pop-up that appears on every page of your website. Enough already!!

7/21/2008 6:00:21 PM

Alex, you need to do your homework. Go find some easy reading on organic practices and learn how many can and do grow apples and other fruits/veggies without harmful chemicals while improving the land they grow on.

11/28/2007 8:50:44 AM

That may be true that those lecels are higher but. what about apples you need to spray apples or your going to get bugs and worms in them and do you want worms in your apples???

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