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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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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'.

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