Organic is Better

Many of you have asked me if organically grown fruits and vegetables are healthier for you than ones that are grown conventionally. Conventional means that the farmer uses synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides to grow the crops. An organic farmer uses no pesticides or herbicides and uses composting and other techniques to fertilize the soil.

The important thing in the food that we eat is the amount of nutrients that it contains and not how perfect it looks or how large it is. Many nutritionists have written that organic produce was better for you but they didn't have the data to back it up. A Rutgers University research study has now taken care of that.

The researchers from Rutgers went to a supermarket and bought a variety of produce and then went back to their lab and analyzed it for mineral content. They then went to a health food store which carried organic produce and analyzed the same items for mineral content. The researchers had expected the organically grown produce to be slightly superior but were quite surprised by their findings.

Here are some of the comparisons:

Amounts shown for Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium are millequivalents per 100 grams dry weight.

Amounts shown for Manganese, Iron and Copper are trace elements parts per million dry matter.

TOMATOES Organic Conventional
Calcium 23 4.5
Magnesium 59.5 4.5
Potassium 148.3 58.8
Manganese 68 1
Iron 1938 1
Copper 53 0

SPINACH Organic Conventional
Calcium 96 47
Magnesium 203 46
Potassium 237 84
Manganese 117 1
Iron 1584 49
Copper 32 0.3

LETTUCE Organic Conventional
Calcium 71 16
Magnesium 49 13
Potassium 176 53
Manganese 169 1
Iron 516 9
Copper 60 3

As you can see there wasn't just a slight difference. The conventional spinach had only 3% of the iron as the organically grown and the conventional tomatoes had only .0005% of the iron as organically grown.

This was just one study and some conventional farms may produce higher or even lower nutritional yields and the same goes for the organic farms.

If I come across more statistics like this, I will pass them on to you. The big reason for the difference is in the soil quality which I will discuss in the next health tip.