A ten-year study found that organic tomatoes contain twice as many antioxidants as conventionally grown tomatoes. The study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry claims that when compared to standard produce, organic strains contain higher levels of two high blood pressure-fighting flavonoids.
These findings also confirm recent European research, which showed that organic tomatoes, peaches and processed apples all have higher nutritional quality than non-organic
They found that on average they were 79% and 97% higher respectively in the organic tomatoes than in the conventionally grown fruit.
New Scientist magazine reported that the different levels of flavonoids in tomatoes are probably due to the absence of fertilisers in organic farming.
Flavonoids are produced as a defence mechanism that can be triggered by nutrient deficiency, such as a lack of nitrogen in the soil.
The inorganic nitrogen in conventional fertiliser is easily available to plants and so, the researchers suggests, the lower levels of flavonoids are probably caused by over-fertilisation.
Who would’ve guessed: fewer chemicals lead to better soil and healthier produce.