Organic Ain\’t Better

Or at least, organic fruits and vegetables do not have more vitamins and minerals in them than conventionally grown.

Shoppers can pay up to a third more for organic produce, but the researchers said that with no more nutrients, it was a "lifestyle choice".

Dr Susanne Bugel and a team at the University of Copenhagen\’s Department of Human Nutrition, studied fruit and vegetables on most families\’ shopping lists, including carrots, peas, apples and potatoes.

The team found no clear evidence of any difference in the vitamin and mineral content between the organically and the chemically grown crops.

Their findings are published in the Society of Chemical Industry\’s Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

In fact, given those higher prices, organics are one third worse for your nutrition per pound spent on food.

As a lifestyle choice, for the taste, by all means: but the health bit seems to be a con.

11 thoughts on “Organic Ain\’t Better”

  1. “for the taste” – can anyone even taste the difference?

    Tim adds: Often, actually, yes. Not precisely because of organic or not, rather, because of different varietals. Some do better under one system, some better under another. Commercially grown tomatoes for example, are often grown with great concern for storage possibilities, less so for flavour. Organic not so much.

    But it’s varietals that make the difference, not the farming system.

  2. PS Not that I buy organic much. Robin Page’s (conventional) farming methods have the same effect. It’s just that I can’t buy his stuff, explicitly labelled as such.

    The High Priesthood of Organics is enough to put me off the whole thing.

  3. ““for the taste” – can anyone even taste the difference?”

    I don’t buy organic, but I do grow my own fruit and some vegetables. There really IS a difference in taste…

  4. Isn’t there plenty of other research suggesting the exact opposite of this? Whom are we meant to believe?

  5. “There really IS a difference in taste…”

    I’m sure that’s partly due to the varietals, as Tim says. The Dutch tomatoes in our supermarkets are known in Germany as “water bombs” because they taste like a rubber balloon filled with water. Whereas I bet you didn’t choose grow such a horrible variety.

    The other reason they taste better is the time between harvest and plate is measured in minutes not days. This means (for example) the complex sugars in them haven’t had time to break down.

  6. “Buying organic is also a way of paying, through the price difference, for the continued existence of wildlife.”

    Possibly, but then again, if conventional farming is more efficient, we need to use less farmland to grow a given amount of food, so the difference can be left to the wild.

    “Does anyone know where I can find these inorganic fruits and vegetables that must presumably exist?”

    Aha, you have picked one my my favourite bug bears – the term oganic. As if conventionally produced food is not based on carbon chemistry!

  7. “Possibly, but then again, if conventional farming is more efficient, we need to use less farmland to grow a given amount of food, so the difference can be left to the wild.”

    If by ‘wild’ you mean ‘property developers’, then yes…. 😉

  8. Isn’t there plenty of other research suggesting the exact opposite of this?

    Not that I’m aware of; this is about the third or fourth study I’ve come across that says there is no difference. Hard to see how there would be, frankly, as the whole concept of “organic” is profoundly un-scientific and Luddite.

  9. We call it “organic” if we grow it ourselves. Using our own compost. Having pee’d in our own compost bin.

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