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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 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.

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