The general belief that organically grown crops are healthier than conventionally grown ones may not be true, says a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This study reports that some of the vegetables grown using the conventional methods with fertilizers and pesticides have antioxidant levels similar to that of organic crops.
In this study, Pia Knuthsen, PhD, senior research scientist at Denmark’s National Food Institute, and colleagues, analyzed the levels of polyphenols, an antioxidant, in onions, carrots, and potatoes. They compared the levels of these antioxidants in both conventionally grown varieties and its organic counterparts. The analysis showed that there were no differences in the antioxidant levels in both the crops.
According to the results of the study, it is difficult to conclude that organically grown onions, carrots, and potatoes contain more health-promoting antioxidants when compared to the conventionally cultivated varieties, say researchers. This finding can have a commercial impact as the popularity of organically produced food has been increasing because of the expected health benefits, opine researchers. Organically foods are generally more expensive than the conventionally grown crops. Another reason for the popularity seems to be the belief that organically grown foods have a better texture and taste.
The study was conducted in two-year field trial in three different locations. Vegetables were grown organically in two fields and conventionally in the other field. Researchers report that there were no statistically significant differences in the levels of polyphenols in the crops grown by two different growth systems. The polyphenols found in organically grown crops which help in controlling dementia, heart disease, and cancer may be found in similar amounts in conventionally grown varieties also.