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organic strawberries  (Source: vancityallie.com)
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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By Lord 666 on 9/6/2010 11:37:23 AM , Rating: 1
1. Bananas: I have tested at home blindly and can pick out the organic one each time.

2. Apples: Same as above... not to mention the abnormal size difference.

3. Eggs: Can see the difference most of the time after cracking the egg.

4. Strawberries: While the difference is easily seen, my wife prefers the non-organic one because of the amount of bugs we have always found within the organic containers.




By FITCamaro on 9/6/2010 1:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
As long as both tastes good and doesn't give me cancer, I don't really care.


By Lord 666 on 9/6/2010 2:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
For the bananas and apples, the taste difference is so noticeably improved in the organic version, the minor cost difference is irrelevant.

The best way to explain it is those two organic fruits taste like they did when we were growing up. Actually stopped eating some fruit for a while because of the lack of taste. Going organic on those those two actually encourages me to eat more fruit.


By tmouse on 9/7/2010 7:55:23 AM , Rating: 5
The vast majority of the time it has absolutely nothing to do with "organic" or not (personally I hate the term since it is totally unscientific, did anyone ever see an inorganic banana, I guess a sculpture would be an example). The point is many things like strawberries are picked very unripe and ethylene gassed just prior to their final destinations (this reduces shipping wastage), this does not give the fruit time to establish the natural sugar profiles of naturally ripened fruit. Some "organic" fruits are also gassed but some are not, the latter will always taste fresher. Same with eggs, the smaller stocks ensure better rotation thus "fresher" eggs. The chicken colonies are also smaller and more genetically diverse since the birds are often not as inbred for maximum production. These things probably account for 99% of the difference. Fresh will always be better if you can get it, the further you get from the source the lees value will be in "organic" versus regular. It’s like the clowns worried about hormones in their meat. They know absolutely nothing about the biology of hormones. Unless you eat very fresh and raw meat any hormones in it will have no impact on you what so ever. Things like the animal’s body temperature, carcass processing time, cooking and digestive enzymes destroy virtually all hormones (unless you like mainlining fresh, raw meat then you will have other problems when your immune system rejects the foreign proteins). There is also nothing “green” about organic farming, the wastage per acre of product far exceeds any “green” value. Organic MAY (important note here) be fresher, in the US anyone can call anything “organic”, and even if it is really “organic” there is no guarantee of freshness (although the odds are better), just remember it’s a privilege product and never will scale for mass consumption for high density areas.


By clovell on 9/8/2010 12:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
The FDA regulates what is labeled 'Certified Organic'.


By amagriva on 9/6/2010 5:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
I' don't know why but I thought you'd better liked the GMO's ones...


By Jeffk464 on 9/6/2010 6:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
Its very hard to draw an exact link between a carcinogen and someones personal cancer case. How many carcinogens have you been exposed to, how can you say one was responsible. Plus sometimes people just get cancer regardless. People died of cancer before Scientists came up with all this crap.


By FITCamaro on 9/7/2010 8:32:24 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly my point. Like this freaking egg scare. Well as long as you're not eating the raw egg and wash your hands after you handle them, you'll be fine. Or the freaking tomato scare was it last year or the year before.

All of it is big government nanny state bullsh*t where nothing bad is supposed to happen to anyone ever for any reason. Our parents and grandparents grew up eating food cooked in lard. Ate eggs fresh out of the chickens ass. They survived just fine. I think there' so many kids with allergies and crap these days because we coddle kids too much.

A lady here at work, who I really love talking to, says she never let her kids lick the beaters when making a cake because they might get sick from the raw egg. I say BS to that. I still to this day eat raw batter for anything I bake. I never get sick from it.


By Reclaimer77 on 9/7/2010 3:35:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
A lady here at work, who I really love talking to, says she never let her kids lick the beaters when making a cake because they might get sick from the raw egg.


Man, what a bitch. She's depriving her kids of one of the true joys in life at that age.

One day, when they are too old to do it themselves, they'll see other kids licking the beaters and think "I never got to do that..."

Then they will cry and drive their car off a bridge.


By Jeffk464 on 9/6/2010 6:45:46 PM , Rating: 3
There is a definite difference in flavor between organic milk and factory farm milk. Its like pabst blue ribbon vs Samual Adams. There is so much more flavor, its not surprising that there would be more good stuff in it.


By tmouse on 9/7/2010 8:22:18 AM , Rating: 2
There is nothing really "better". It may be somewhat fresher and more than likely less watered down (this is done a lot and the more middle men the worse it gets). We used to get raw milk fresh from a dairy farmer we knew and the fat would float to the top (looked closed to 10% to me). The problem is while it tasted good (unless the cows got into the onion chives, yuck) the fat was not "better" for you. For the vast majority of animal products "organic" is not necessarily better for you.


By JediJeb on 9/7/2010 5:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
I grew up drinking milk we took straight from the cow every morning. Fresh butter made from the cream skimmed from the top too. Might have made me a little fat as a kid, but to this day at age 43 I still haven't had a cavity or broken bone even though I have taken some hard lumps along the way. Can't say that was the reason, but can't say is wasn't either.


By Reclaimer77 on 9/7/2010 6:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
Fresh milk starts to spoil in a matter of hours. So unless you live in a dairy farm or something, what are we even talking about? It's just not an option for most of us.


By JediJeb on 9/8/2010 1:59:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not when refrigerated. What we had would keep for a week when chilled properly without a problem. Even the processed milk you get from the grocery has set in a chilled tank a few days before processing. My grandfather ran a dairy and the truck that took the milk to the processing plant only came by every second or third day to pick it up. Of course it will not last for several weeks the way processed milk will, but you do not have to throw it out daily.

I really interesting story to read on this is the one about milk smugglers in New York City. There are actually people involved in smuggling in raw milk and selling it to people who want to buy it instead of processed milk. Since it is illegal to sell non pasteurized milk they have to smuggle it into the city. A farm in Indiana has found a loophole in the law though, which says if you own the cow you can drink the milk raw, so they sell shares in the cows, therefore you own the cow and they just milk it for you.


By Gondorff on 9/7/2010 5:00:49 AM , Rating: 2
I rarely play the 'organic food tastes better' card, but strawberries are one case that it seems to be valid. I find that more often than not, non-organic strawberries just taste watery and bland, whereas most organic strawberries are bursting with flavor. YMMV, of course.


By thurston on 9/7/2010 8:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
WTF? Why has Lord666 been modded down? Whoever did the modding needs to go buy a dozen fresh eggs from a farmer. There is a huge difference in taste and appearance, the yolks are usually bright orange. Crack one after a few weeks and you get the familiar yellow yolk. While your buying your eggs buy a tomato from the farmer that has been ripened on the vine by the sun, then eat one that has been ripened by ethylene gas. If you say you cannot tell the difference then you are a liar.


By Reclaimer77 on 9/7/2010 9:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
WTF? Why has Lord666 been modded down?


Cause he's full of it?


By Lord 666 on 9/8/2010 8:46:09 AM , Rating: 2
Nah, because most ignorant people on DT rate people up and down on emotion versus actual logic. There is a noticeable difference in the taste of food items I listed. I'll try the milk test, but we only have organic milk in the house at the moment for the kids.

Tmouse agrees with what I posted; there is a difference in the quality of food. However, he disagreed with the terms "organic" versus "inorganic" and attributed the possible freshness difference to smaller quantities of food in the organic distribution pipeline. Eventually, he surmised that "organic" is for the privelaged. To a degree, I can see his point but bottom line there is a difference.

Personally refuse to compromise on taste or quality for the sake of saving .30 a pound.


By JediJeb on 9/8/2010 2:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
An even bigger difference you will find is in hybride versus heirloom(native genetics) vegitables. Try heriloom tomatos and see if they are not better than hybrids, I think you will be surprised. But don't expect nice perfect round tomatos from the heirloom plants, most are wrinkly and unsymetrical and most would not sell at all in large chain stores since the bulk of the population have been taught that a good tomato is one that is nice and round and smooth. Round smooth tomatos did not exist until the big companies needed them because they can be processed through their machines better than the irregular shaped ones. Also doesn't matter as much if orgainc or conventional growing practices are employed, the heirloom varieties taste better.


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