Go Back
Print this page

Food Politics

Politics of the Plate: An Apple a Day

Just make sure it’s an organic apple, if you want to keep the oncologist and cardiologist away.
organic apple

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry by a group of researchers at Germany’s Federal Institute of Nutrition and Food found that over a three-year period, organic Golden Delicious apples had a 12 percent higher concentration of antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts. Antioxidants help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Researchers have long debated whether organic produce is more nutritious than food grown with the help of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Last year, a review of scientific literature published by the Organic Center, the research arm of the Organic Trade Organization showed that organic food was 25 percent more nutritious.

It’s turning out to be a rough spring for advocates of high-tech agriculture. The German research on antioxidants comes on the heels of a report by Doug Gurian-Sherman of the Union of Concerned Scientists showing that “transgenic herbicide-tolerant soybeans and corn have not increased operational yields.” Insect-resistant corn, meanwhile, “has increased yield only marginally.”

The study, called Failure to Yield, contradicts a recent Monsanto advertising campaign which claims that the company’s genetically modified seeds “significantly increase crop yields.”