More Benefits of Organic Foods Listed
Flavonoids, compounds, found in many fruits, are major contributors to human health. Two of the most common are quercitin and kaempferol—both found in tomatoes.
Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have been conducting long-term research on agricultural systems for over a decade, handling one field organically and another conventionally. After growing tomatoes on both plots, they reported their results in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Food and Agricultural Chemistry. They found that the level of quercitin was 79 percent higher and kaempferol 97 percent higher in tomatoes grown organically compared to tomatoes grown conventionally.
The longer a field was managed organically, the greater the difference in flavonoids between organic and conventional tomatoes.
Evaluation of two similar kinds of bread, one organic and one conventional, showed some striking differences, according to The Organic Center of Boulder, Colorado. Organic bread on average contains more whole food ingredients (49 percent) than conventional (12 percent). On average, 28 percent of conventional bread ingredients are preservatives and/or additives. On average, 63 percent of organic bread ingredients are significant sources of important nutrients, while only 27 percent of conventional bread ingredients are nutritionally beneficial. And if you exclude the chemical vitamins that are added to enrich conventional bread, only 19 percent of conventional bread ingredients are nutritionally beneficial. And of course, eating organic bread helps lower one’s exposure to pesticides.
Rhizobia bacteria live in the soil and form a symbiosis with the roots of legumes such as alfalfa, clover, vetch, soybeans, and other types of edible peas and beans. The rhizobia take nitrogen molecules (N2) from the air, split the two nitrogen atoms apart, and recombine them with oxygen to form plant food: nitrates that plant roots absorb. And they do it for free.
However, there are two things that happen in conventional agriculture that harm rhizobia and turn off their ability to fix free plant food from the air. The first is that conventional farmers flood their fields with chemical nitrogen. The rhizobia have a built-in mechanism that tells them to stop fixing nitrogen from the air if the element is already abundant in the soil. Once off, those bacteria will never again fix nitrogen.
The second way conventional agriculture harms rhizobia is detailed in a scientific study reported in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and entitled, “Pesticides Reduce Symbiotic Efficiency of Nitrogen-Fixing Rhizobia and Host Plants.” The scientists report that pesticides interfere with the chemical signalling between the bacteria and the roots that is necessary for the free plant food to be created and absorbed. They estimate that legume crop yields are reduced by one third due to this interference. Glyphosate herbicide (Round-Up) has a similar effect.
So the conventional farmer, in order to overcome reduced crop yields, adds chemical ammonium fertilizer to increase nitrogen in the soil and bring his yields back up.
In effect, the conventional farmer wipes out a natural soil system that provides free nitrogen fertilizer to his crops and replaces it with a system that requires environmentally damaging and very expensive factory-made chemical nitrogen fertilizer. Doesn’t make a lick of sense, does it? Well, if you are an agribusiness corporation selling that costly, damaging fertilizer, it makes a lot of sense. And it’s those guys who are running American agriculture.