If Not for Your Health, How About Mother Earth?

Study shows organically grown carrots, potatoes and onions have no more antioxidants than traditionally grown produce

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Costly organic fruits and vegetables are all the rage among health-conscious consumers, but does the hype live up to the facts? That may depend on which study you read.

A recent study suggests organically grown onions, carrots, and potatoes for the most part do not have higher levels of antioxidants than vegetables grown with pesticides and fertilizers.

Organic foods do promote better animal welfare and environmental protection, but organic produce's supposed health benefits remain a contentious topic.

The scientists involved in this study looked at antioxidants known as polyphenols in conventional and organically grown onions, carrots and potatoes. They found no difference in polyphenol content in the two types of growth.

Researcher Pia Knuthsen said the study cannot conclude organically grown onions, carrots, and potatoes "generally have higher contents of health-promoting secondary metabolites" compared to conventionally cultivated produce.

The study contradicts findings from studies funded by the European Commission, however, which suggest organic fruits and offer more nutritional value because of more micronturients and complex components as well as higher levels of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron and zinc. These studies also claim organic produce boasts more health-promoting antioxidants, flavanoids, carotenoids and other phytochemicals.

Studies have also shown that consumers prefer the taste of organically grown produce and meats.

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Review Date: 
January 6, 2011
Last Updated:
January 10, 2011