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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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RE: Just pure garbage
By JediJeb on 9/7/2010 6:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
Just selecting 13 "organic" and 13 standard end products is a total waste of time and is totally unscientific. Were they both the exact strains? Since only one "tasted consistently better"

Actually if you read through the report you will find that each was a comparison of the same variety grown in an organic field beside a conventional field, so yes this is probably even better than doing it in a lab since you are also comparing the different farm methods side by side with the same variety and soil types.

But, and the big but here lies in looking at the first graph. They compare nutrient levels from organic versus conventional and if you look closely you will see that the organic variety is different from the conventional variety. That is a big no no in this type of report. And some of the differences they call significant are really not. To say a difference of something like 207ppm Iron versus 214ppm Iron is significant is not true. Honestly I run tests like this every day and that small difference can come just from the analytical process itself, not to mention the non-homogeneous nature of natural products.

Also look closely at the +/- error in the testing for all graphs, in several though the differences look significant they fall within the +/- error range for the other value. That essentially means the values do not differ in a measurable fashion.

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