Monday, May 21, 2007

State of Science Review Shows Why Organic Produce Tastes Better

"People have a lot of misconceptions about what an organic meal tastes like," says celebrity chef Akasha Richmond. "Because organic is associated with something that is good for you, people think it will be too healthy and have no taste. But after they try it, most people are shocked at how much more flavor some of their favorite foods have."

And while chefs like Richmond have known instinctively for years that organic produce can add flavor to their menus, a new state of science review, published by The Organic Center, shows why organic fruits and vegetables often taste better.

Organic fruits and vegetables tend to score higher in taste because they are sweeter than conventionally grown foods. Scientists say this is because of the nutrient density of organic produce and their smaller size. Conventional farming methods are designed to produce bigger fruits and vegetables, but increasing cells size adds more water, diluting the concentrations of both vitamins and natural flavors.

The report also dispels another misconception about freshness. Contrary to what most people believe, organic fruits and vegetables often have a longer shelf life than conventionally grown foods. The higher levels of antioxidants, considered a natural preservative, are actually part of what enables some organic fruits and vegetables to store longer. The other contributing factor is the lower levels of nitrates that come from synthetic fertilizers, which aren't used in organic farming.