Organic foods are not only tastier, they are actually more nutritious as well. A 10-year study that compared organic and non-organic tomatoes found that the organic varieties contained more antioxidant flavonoids.

Specifically, levels of two flavonoids — quercetin and kaempferol — were 79 percent and 97 percent higher, respectively, in the organic tomatoes. Getting more flavonoids from your tomatoes is certainly a good thing. They’re known to fight high blood pressure, heart disease, certain forms of cancer and dementia.

If this study spurs more people to recognize the benefits of growing food without toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and in the most nutrient-rich soil as possible, then it’s done its job.

You should seek out foods grown in this way as much as possible, and remember that you can sometimes find locally grown foods that are organically grown, yet the small farmers have not been able to afford the certification process to legally claim that they are.

Of course, these foods will give you the same health and taste benefits, and have the added bonus of not taking up valuable fuel to be transported across the country or farther.

Now, while organic produce is likely to be more nutritious for you and your family, don’t be fooled by the processed organic foods that have recently hit the market claiming to be healthy. Organic potato chips, organic cookies, organic ice cream and even organic milk are still not health foods.

The Telegraph July 14, 2007

The New York Times July 17, 2007