Are organic vegetables healthier? Do they have more nutrients than conventionally grown vegetables? Several years ago scientists at Rutgers University set-out to specifically disprove any claim that organic produce was more nutritious than non-organic produce. The study used produce from supermarkets and health food stores. The main focus was to analyze the mineral content of the various vegetables and compare them for nutrition value, in particular, mineral content.
The term used today to identify non-organic produce is “commercial” which is grown using a variety of chemicals that either destroys plant pests or chemicals that can enhance plant growth. Many of these chemical are known carcinogens as well as being toxic to the soil and environment.
There has actually been very little “hard data” to prove that organic produce is in any way superior to organic produce, as most folks who purchase “organic” simply believe innately that naturally grown vegetables and fruits, without chemicals and pesticides are intuitively better and healthier.
While the researchers were willing to accept an outcome that might show a very slightly higher content in the organic produce than the commercial, due to the chemicals used to grow the commercial plants, the outcomes of the study shocked the researchers! When they saw that the amount of iron found in the commercial spinach was 97% higher than in the non-organic spinach and that manganese was 99% higher in the organic over the commercial, they were truly amazed. In the commercially grown vegetables many trace elements were completely absent compared to the organic produce where they were abundant.
Here are some comparisons:
• Snap Beans org = 10.45 phosphorus compared to 4.04 in commercial
Snap Beans org = .36 magnesium compared to .22 in commercial
Snap Beans org = 227 boron compared to 10 in commercial
Snap Beans org = 69 iron compared to 3 in commercial
• Cabbage org = 10.38 phosphorus compared to 6.12 in commercial
Cabbage org = .38 magnesium compared to .18 in commercial
Cabbage org = 94 boron compared to 20 in commercial
Cabbage org = 48 iron compared to .04 in commercial
• Lettuce org = 24.48 phosphorus compared to 7.01 in commercial
Lettuce org = .43 magnesium compared to .22 in commercial
Lettuce org = 516 boron compared to 9 in commercial
Lettuce org = 60 iron compared to 3 in commercial
• Tomatoes org = 14.2 phosphorus compared to 7.01 in commercial
Tomatoes org = .35 magnesium compared to .16 in commercial
Tomatoes org = 1938 boron compared to 1 commercial
Tomatoes org = 53 iron compared to 0 in commercial
• Spinach org = 28.56 phosphorus compared to 12.38 in commercial
Spinach org = .52 magnesium compared to .27 in commercial
Spinach org = 1584 compared to 49 in commercial
Spinach org = 32 iron compared to .3 in commercial
Here’s a disturbing outcome of this study – in all 5 of the tested vegetables: snap beans, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes and spinach the organic vegetables all contained healthy levels of cobalt, an essential trace mineral compared to the commercial vegetables which contain none!
So, the next time someone tries to argue that there is no difference between organic and commercial vegetables you can share this information with them and then happily buy your organic produce!
With all good wishes,
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