Organic tomatoes accumulate more vitamin C, sugars than conventionally grown fruit
Tomatoes grown on organic farms accumulate higher concentrations of sugars, vitamin C and compounds associated with oxidative stress compared to those grown on conventional farms, according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Maria Raquel Alcantara Miranda and colleagues from the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil.
In their study, the researchers compared the weights and biochemical properties of tomatoes from organic and conventional farms. They found that tomatoes grown on organic farms were approximately 40% smaller than those grown by conventional techniques, and they also accumulated more compounds linked to stress resistance.
According to the authors, organic farming exposes plants to greater stress than conventional farming. They suggest that this increased stress may be the reason organic tomatoes had higher levels sugars, vitamin C and pigment molecules like lycopene, an anti-oxidant compound – all of which are associated with the biological response to stress. Based on these observations, the authors suggest that growing strategies for fruits and vegetables should aim to balance plant stress with efforts to maximize yield and fruit size, rather than trying to eliminate stress to increase yields.
Press Release Here. Reference: Oliveira AB, Moura CFH, Gomes-Filho E, Marco CA, Urban L, et al. (2013) The Impact of Organic Farming on Quality of Tomatoes Is Associated to Increased Oxidative Stress during Fruit Development. PLOS ONE 8(2): e56354. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056354
Health Impact News Editor Comments:
For a good overview on how commercial tomatoes are grown in Florida, which supplies over one third of the nation’s tomatoes (including the ones you probably eat if you order fast food burgers), see: The indignity of industrial tomatoes, by Barry Estabrook of grist.org, which is an excerpt from the book: Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
Also, since ketchup is one of the most consumed forms of tomatoes, and since almost all commercial ketchups contain high fructose corn syrup which is probably derived from GMO corn, learn how to make your own ketchup when tomatoes are in season in this video:
When buying packaged tomatoes, always buy them in glass jars, because tomatoes packaged in cans are lined with toxic BPA (Bisphenol A).