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Organically Grown Veggies Are No More Nutritious Than Conventionally Grown Ones

November 3, 2010: 10:56 AM EST

Grocery shoppers who believe organically grown vegetables are more healthful than conventionally grown ones might be disappointed by the findings of a new Danish study. Except for one specific phenolic acid, researchers found that organically grown onions, carrots and potatoes did not have higher levels of healthful antioxidants than conventionally grown ones. In the organically grown potatoes fertilized with cover crops, researchers did find a significantly higher level of 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid (5-CQA), the predominant phenolic acid in potatoes and carrots. The researchers said there are still important reasons to buy organic, including improved animal welfare, environmental protection, better taste, and possible health benefits. But, they added, “it cannot be concluded that organically grown onions, carrots, and potatoes generally have higher contents of health-promoting secondary metabolites in comparison with the conventionally cultivated ones.”

Malene Søltoft, John Nielsen, et al., "Effects of Organic and Conventional Growth Systems on the Content of Flavonoids in Onions and Phenolic Acids in Carrots and Potatoes", Journal of Agricultural & Food Science, November 03, 2010, © American Chemical Society
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