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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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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.


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