by Dina Eliash Robinson
European Union-funded studies of organic and conventional crops, grown in side by side plots, showed antioxidant levels 20 percent to 40 percent higher in organic wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage and lettuce. These findings have been further confirmed by a 10-year study conducted at UC Davis, where a team of agronomical scientists used dried tomato samples, farmed in side by side organic and conventionally farmed plots and found dramatic evidence that the organic tomatoes contained 79 percent more of one antioxidant, and 97 percent more of another.
Although a San Francisco Chronicle article reporting on these findings fails to point out that barriers are usually erected between organic and conventionally cultivated fields located side-by-side, to prevent contamination, our further research shows that such barriers were, indeed, present in these experiments.
Improved research techniques are proving to shoppers that organic foods provide high nutritional value, even when they cost a little more than conventional products. What’s more, in addition to the nutritional bonus, consumers benefit by avoiding the toxic residues of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.