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organic strawberries  (Source:
Organically managed soils are more genetically diverse and healthier as well

A study published last year claimed that organic food has no additional health benefits over non-organic food. But now, a new study not only shows that organic strawberries offer more nutritional value than conventional strawberries, but they also make soil healthier. 

The study from last year, which was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and led by Dr. Alan Dangour, claimed that organic chicken, beef, milk, fruit and vegetables do not provide any additional nutritional advancement to a person's diet. According to Dangour and his team, there is a small number of nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods, such as the fact that organic foods have more phosphorous. But Dangour insists that phosphorous is available in everything people eat and is "not important for public health."

"Acidity is also higher in organic produce, but acidity is about taste and sensory perception and makes no difference at all for health," said Dangour. "Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally-produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority."

Now a new study challenges Dangour's research, but only where strawberries are concerned. According to the new study, which was published in PLoS One and lead by Washington State University, organic strawberries are more nutritious and flavorful than those that are grown through chemical-laden farming. Also, organic strawberries leave soil genetically diverse and healthier. 

Ninety percent of the U.S. strawberry crop is grown on farms in California, so the Washington State researchers analyzed 31 biological and chemical soil properties and soil DNA as well as the quality, nutrition and taste of three types of strawberries on 13 chemical farms and 13 organic farms.

The results of their research were that organic strawberries had a longer shelf life, much higher antioxidant activity, more dry matter and higher concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds than non-organic strawberries. In addition, anonymous testers were asked to taste the different kinds of strawberries, and many of them found that one type of organic strawberries has sweeter and better flavor than the others, as well as a better appearance.

When analyzing the soil these organic strawberries were grown in, the researchers found that this organically managed soil had greater genetic diversity, and also beat the non-organic soil in terms of carbon sequestration, micronutrients, microbial biomass and enzyme activity.  

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Soil DNA?
By FITCamaro on 9/6/2010 9:07:37 AM , Rating: 2
Excuse me?

RE: Soil DNA?
By Mitch101 on 9/6/10, Rating: 0
RE: Soil DNA?
By Malhavoc on 9/6/2010 10:03:57 AM , Rating: 4
An interesting thing to mention regarding environmental and health effects of pesticide use is that when looking at studies, one is going to get a skewed view of producers.

While I believe most farms are diligent in following label directions, I have run into very few that haven't and send out produce when they shouldn't. If following label directions, there should be no residues left at time of harvest.

You should be aware that pesticide usage is thought to be one of the factors regarding Colony Collapse Disorder for bees.

RE: Soil DNA?
By Mitch101 on 9/6/2010 10:36:12 AM , Rating: 2
Penn and Teller BS: Organic Food Myths Debunked (Excerpt)

RE: Soil DNA?
By Malhavoc on 9/6/2010 11:19:57 AM , Rating: 4
The truth of the matter is that both sides of the fence can show what they want with numerous studies. I more on the side of I don't give a @#@!. I am more concerned with getting local fresh produce whenever I can. The closer I am to the source (whether organic or conventional) is what fuels my purchase. The price of agricultural chemicals drives adoption reduce input management. They aren't cheap anymore and are more often used when needed only (at least where I live).

I happen to live in a greenbelt so that works for me. Will I buy organic? Sure if it is fresher than my other options.

Also, I am not 100% familiar with US organic standards. In Canada (at least Ontario), you are certified Organic or you are not. When (and if) I go to the grocery store, we also have different labelling requirements for country of origin.

If I see something from US, I know that it is either packed or re-packed in the US and could come from somewhere else.

RE: Soil DNA?
By FredEx on 9/7/2010 8:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
Hopping in here since I pretty much agree with what you say, and...

I'm in southwestern Michigan and there are plenty of road side farm markets around here. I buy local produced to support the farmers. It also tastes much better. Some farms are small organic farms and their stuff is better since they being a smaller operation they are not out there picking stuff before it is fully ripened. No middle man when I'm hitting their road side stands.

My EX planted a garden this year and went a bit too far, so I have benefited. She has way more than she and her mom can use. Friends have their own gardens, so hard to give it away. She is always bringing over produce and it is the best, totally ripened on the plant. Often since she is in school again and working, she calls and I go over and pick it myself. I have never had produce that taste as good out of any store.

I see some talking about milk. Any savings in fat is good for people, especially those that need to reduce fat, such as some heart patients or folks with problem cholesterol. I'm diabetic, so I can't handle lactose since it converts to a sugar. I already had a problem with lactose anyway, if I had a glass of cow's milk, whole fat or less, I might as well drink it sitting on the toilet for the next 4 hours. That goes back as far as I can remember. I had to be a breast milk baby.

I prefer a certain brand of soy milk. It is low fat, no lactose and any of it in the brand is lower sugar than cow's milk. I get their offering that has no added sugar which ends up being 1 gram of sugar per serving. Cow's milk gives me a sugar buzz.

RE: Soil DNA?
By The Raven on 9/7/2010 1:00:02 PM , Rating: 4
You should be aware that pesticide usage is thought to be one of the factors regarding Colony Collapse Disorder for bees.

Good point, but nobody knows what causes that. And nobody knows why there is so much cancer, autism, etc. out there despite our technological advances. We should go back to our roots and things might get better. That is why I am onboard with organics. Because I don't know better regarding all these issues (nor does anyone else). What we eat influences our health greatly so I'm going organic. Not to save the trees, ozone, money or any other possible reason. The rest is all gravy in my eyes.

RE: Soil DNA?
By jeepga on 9/6/2010 10:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more. I don't have a problem with organic, but it's a marketing gimmick in many cases and something that many people (including my wife) fall victim too.

It's just another small thing that the media has blown up into a big thing -- like food irradiation.

RE: Soil DNA?
By Mitch101 on 9/6/2010 10:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
For me its the same when they label something 97% fat free but when you do the calorie math you find out its closer to 30% fat.

Im sure there are some very legitimate organic producers out there but there is a lot more scam out there than legit and the government cant keep up with the fraud that takes place.

RE: Soil DNA?
By xsilver on 9/6/2010 12:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
My pet peeve is stupid labeling

candy that is labeled "99% fat free"
peanut butter labeled "low in sugar"
sugar that is labeled "low GI" WTF?!

Even low fat milk to me is a bit of a gimmick - normal milk only has 3-4% fat in it - low fat milk is going to save you 2-3%. You have to drink a CRAPLOAD of milk for that to make a difference, and if you're having it with cookies/chocolate sauce/whatever just makes no sense.

RE: Soil DNA?
By ekv on 9/6/2010 12:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
chocolate chip cookies w/o milk?! that's just hell.

RE: Soil DNA?
By FITCamaro on 9/6/2010 1:01:50 PM , Rating: 3
Remember the "Got Milk?" commercials in the late 90s?

"Where am I....."

Loved those. I can't eat cookies without milk.

RE: Soil DNA?
By BadAcid on 9/6/2010 1:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
"oh I'm sorry, times up"

...Awwon Buww :(

RE: Soil DNA?
By xsilver on 9/7/2010 8:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
sorry, yeah what I meant is that people saying that they are on a diet so they drink skim milk - but then they dig in to half a box of cookies. Just have full cream milk and 1 cookie less. Makes more sense to me?

RE: Soil DNA?
By ekv on 9/7/2010 9:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
"1 cookie less" totally agree with what you're saying. You opened the door for the 'got milk' follow up though. Had to take it 8)

RE: Soil DNA?
By Spivonious on 9/6/2010 5:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well, whole milk is 8% milkfat. I drink skim because it's the cheapest. Did you know that they skim all of the fat off, and then add it back in for the 1%, 2%, and whole?

RE: Soil DNA?
By NullSubroutine on 9/6/2010 11:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
Eh, no. In the US and UK whole milk is ~4% or 3.25%.

RE: Soil DNA?
By FITCamaro on 9/6/2010 12:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you may have missed my point. Dirt does not have DNA. Organisms in dirt do.

RE: Soil DNA?
By JediJeb on 9/7/2010 5:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, and organically farmed soil will have more DNA present from all the bacteria from the manure used to fertilize the soil.

RE: Soil DNA?
By PaterPelligrino on 9/7/2010 2:30:00 AM , Rating: 3
There's no free ride in life, everything you do has unintended consequences; and tho a good case can be made that the increased productivity of chemically nurtured crops justifies the use of these chemicals, to think that there will be no negative repercussions is absurd. Soil isn't just dirt, it's an immensely complicated ecosystem of vast numbers of living organisms that contribute to the health of the soil; you pump pesticides and fertilizers into it and there are going to be changes, and change in nature is usually disruptive.

RE: Soil DNA?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/7/2010 3:30:55 PM , Rating: 3
This reminds me of those studies showing how furniture and other things treated with fire retardant chemicals could be harmful to you. While that might be the case, we're forgetting one thing, before these chemicals existed your house used to burn down in minutes flat like a tinder box.

As with many things, the benefits of modern advances far outweigh the drawbacks.

Before pesticides entire crops were lost. Food would be sold with worms, bugs, and other gross things inside it. When's the last time you found worms in your produce? Like, never. People used to get sick all the time from contaminated food, sometimes die.

Not too long ago things like grapes and strawberries were considered a delicacy. Normal middle class people simply could not afford this luxury in the quantities they can today. Modern advances in pesticides and crop yields have made these one time luxuries a common food item for all class of people.

Contrary to what liberal environmentalists like Tiffany would have you believe, the overall quality and nutrition of produce today is far beyond what's it's been in any other time of human history.

Are there side effects and consequences with the use of these chemicals? Sure. But, again, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

RE: Soil DNA?
By geddarkstorm on 9/7/2010 1:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
And "organics" have better nutrition than "non-organics"? That always makes me twitch.

Yes, I do not think a strawberry forged of pure titanium will have quite the same succulent, juicy flavoring as a conventional "grown" strawberry; but it might be worth a buy to find out.

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