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Junk Science: Study Says Non-Organic Vegetables Grown With Pesticides Contain More Vitamins

A ridiculous new study suggests that removing artificial chemicals from the food supply will not deliver healthier or more tasty produce and using modern, artificial, chemical infested methods may well be better for you.

It's another example of black is white and up is down, which appears to have become the norm in the realm of junk science so prominent in today's media.

The claims follow a small sampled two year study growing potatoes, broccoli and tomatoes.

The non-organic broccoli or calabrese was found to have higher levels of antioxidants than the organically grown samples.

The research found the non-organic potatoes contained more Vitamin C than the organic crop.

While a panel of expert tasters found that the non-organically grown tomatoes had a stronger tomato flavour and were slightly sweeter than the organic samples.

During trials at an allotment in the Cotswolds, the ground for the non-organic potatoes and broccoli was sprayed with weedkiller and later the fertiliser Growmore. By contrast the organic plot was dug over and manure added.

They also treated the conventional crops with pesticides, such as metaldehyde slug pellets and dithane.

With the tomatoes, one set were grown in organic peat-free grow bags and the other in the non-organic equivalent. They were given either an organic or conventional feed.

The subsequent nutritrition and taste tests demonstrated the conventional crops were at least as good as organic and, in some areas, significantly better. The yields and physical appearance were about the same.

'However, this trial didn’t look at other benefits of going organic, such as the impact on the environment. Whatever methods you use, any gardener will tell you that home grown fruit and veg beat supermarket fare hands down.'

Emma Hockridge, head of policy at the Soil Association, insisted the findings were not significant and described the Which? research as 'irresponsible'.

'This is an unscientific study of an extremely limited sample of vegetables,' she said.

'Which? Gardening admit the narrow scope of their research, which does not address the main reason people choose to garden organically - namely that the absence of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilisers means it is better for the environment, better for wildlife and safer for all the family, including pets.

Another factor seriously devoid is the study is the fact that non-organic produce is typically from genetically modified sources which in itself many consider poisonous to human health.

'It is a much wider issue than just taste and health.'

She said: 'More conclusive research needs to be done comparing organic vs non-organic food in terms of nutrient content but a recent, more comprehensive, European study shows that it is mainly artificial fertilisers that depress beneficial nutrients in fruit and vegetables, so generally all organic food will contain more healthy nutrients.

'Generations of gardeners have recognised the importance of using organic techniques for the fruit and vegetables they produce for their families.

'Most gardeners recognise that heavily marketed and expensive artificial fertilisers and chemical pesticides are not beneficial for the planet or their family’s health.'

She added: 'For legions of gardeners, the thought of spraying chemicals over their home grown produce is unthinkable. More and more research is showing the negative impacts of pesticide use.

'It is irresponsible that Which? have been using pesticides which have been strongly implicated in the rapid decline in the bee population, along with a range of other pesticides including metaldehyde which is fatal to animals and costs water companies millions of pounds every year in clean up costs.

'Gardeners across the country are proving that they are able to grow excellent and tasty produce without using pesticides and artificial fertilisers.'

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

Reference Source 231
February 24, 2011


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