Organics Prove More Nutritious

Organic farming proponents have long suspected that organically grown foods contain higher levels of important vitamins and minerals as compared to conventionally farmed produce. Now research backs this claim (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2001, vol. 7, no. 2).

For her doctoral dissertation at Baltimore's John's Hopkins University, Virginia Worthington, Ph.D., reviewed 41 studies comparing the levels of 35 vitamins and minerals in organically and conventionally grown produce. Organics rated higher in most nutrients measured and, as a bonus, contained 15 percent less of potentially harmful nitrates from nitrogen fertilizers. The greatest nutritional differences were found in magnesium (organics had 29 percent more), vitamin C (27 percent more), and iron (21 percent more).

Using the USDA recommendation of five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, Worthington calculated that organic-produce eaters would consume an average of 89 mg vitamin C daily compared with 70 mg for conventional-food eaters; 3.7 mg iron compared with 3.0 mg; and 80 mg magnesium compared with 68.6 mg. This suggests that going organic might make the difference between a nutrient-deficient diet and an adequate diet.

?Marilyn Sterling