Saturday, March 14, 2009

Conventional vs. Organic Produce: Big Differences in Nutritional Content

There was a recent article in Time Magazine that caught the attention of produce farmers and consumers alike. This attention-grabbing quote is from the February 18, 2009, issue.

If you're still not buying the whole "organic-is-better" argument, this study might convince you otherwise.

The article explains how produce grown today is larger than that of 50 years ago, but contains drastically fewer nutrients. This is because varieties have been bred for size, rapid maturity, and tolerance to pesticides, rather than nutritional content. If it looks good on the store shelves, people will buy it, not knowing it is nutritionally inferior.

Read the entire article here.

Organic foods are the exception to this trend. They contain higher amounts of minerals and vitamins than their conventionally grown counterparts. Heirloom varieties are even more intriguing because they haven’t been bred to look impressive to customers in a grocery store. Organic produce has also not been treated with chemicals and therefore doesn’t contain dangerous pesticide residues.

Fruits and vegetables used to be just that – fruits and vegetables. But consumers nowadays have so much more to consider than their parents’ generation did. The price is no longer an accurate gauge of how much time or effort went into growing the crops, but could just as easily reflect high transport costs for produce grown far away from your local store. Now we also see that how a piece of produce looks in the store is no longer enough information to make a good decision on how nourishing it is. And with GMO produce appearing in stores on a regular basis now, many consumers are fed up and rejecting the whole system. Organics aren’t just for hippies anymore!


  1. Really enjoyed this post! I love the clear argument, and how you've backed it up with some great info. Keep up the great've got a whole lot of potential with this blog!!

  2. I read about grocery stores in Europe that sell those "less than pretty" produce. I think this is a great idea bceause external prettiness usually has no bearing on nutritional content! IF this isn't a great case for eating organic, i don't know what is!