Every produce consumer is a part of the debate about organic food because it is in every grocery store, mega mart, and produce stand. It is up to consumer preference to what they purchase: organic fruits and vegetables or conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
Organic vs. Conventionally Farmed
Conventionally farmed dragonfruit taken at a local grocery store (photo by Christina Thompson 2011).
Is it true that organically grown fruits and vegetables are better nutritionally? A CNN Article gave people some insight on this issue. It said, “A few small studies have shown that some organic foods contain higher nutrient levels than conventional ones. For example, a recent study showed that organic ketchup had 57 percent more of the antioxidant lycopene than regular ketchup.”
Meyer Organic Lemons taken at The Fresh Market (a strictly whole-food) grocery store (photo by Christina Thompson 2011).
In an article posted by Grist about this debate they studied strawberry crops. “The study design was both careful and comprehensive in scope. The strawberries were grown on 13 conventional and 13 organic fields, with organic/conventional field pairs located adjacently in order to control for soil type and weather patterns. The data was drawn from repeated harvests over a two-year period, and the strawberries were picked, transported, and stored under identical conditions to replicate retail practices. And just as farming is a complex business, scientists contributing to the study range from soil and food scientists to genetics experts and statistics specialists, who analyzed 31 soil properties, soil DNA, and the relative taste and nutritional quality of three strawberry varieties in California. The results are pretty convincing: organic strawberries are healthier, tastier, and better for the soil than conventional strawberries.”
The bottom line
These organic peas were bought at a local farmers' market (photo by Christina Thompson 2010).
The Grist article also offers this, “Its findings only apply to strawberries — but they do point the way to the kind of research that can, and should, be done with other crops as well.” The studied only offered that strawberry crops are better organically for us. The CNN article has Charles Benbrook, a Ph.D. scientist with The Organic Center saying, “Read labels and look at each product in its own right. An organic potato chip may contain as many calories and saturated fat grams as a conventional chip. The price premiums associated with processed organic food are not as great as the premiums charged for organic whole foods.” In the article too, they have Professor Alan McHughen, Ph.D. of botany and plant sciences at the University of California, Riverside with this understanding, “Focus on foods’ benefit to your immediate environment — i.e. your body — first. A good diet means variety, balance, and moderation, regardless of the farming method that produced the food.”
These delicious sea beans were found at a local grocer, but not in the organic section (photo by Christina Thompson 2011).
There really is some difference to organic and conventional farming, but other things maybe added to the organic food to make it worse for you then conventionally farmed produce. Like Benbrook says, “Read labels!!”