Organic tomatoes really are healthier

A 10-year study comparing organic tomatoes with conventionally grown ones suggests that they may be healthier, confirming pro-organic opinion. Levels of the antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which have been linked to reduced rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia, increased significantly over time in samples from organic treatments, whereas they did not vary with conventional fertiliser treatments. The researchers explain the difference as being due to nitrogen availability. Flavonoids are produced by the plants as a defence against nutrient deficiency. Inorganic nitrogen in conventional fertiliser is easily available and the lower levels of flavonoids in conventionally managed plants are therefore probably due to overfertilisation. (Ten-year comparison of the influence of organic and conventional crop management practices on the content of flavonoids in tomatoes. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Jul 25;55(15):6154-9).

 

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