DAVIS, Calif., July 11 (UPI) -- Growing food organically over time may result in healthier food, according to a U.S. study that found higher flavonoid levels in organic tomatoes.
Alyson E. Mitchell, of the University of California at Davis, and colleagues compared levels of key flavonoids in tomatoes harvested over a 10-year period from two matched fields -- one farmed organically and the other with conventional methods that included commercial fertilizers.
The research focused on tomatoes because per capita consumption in the United States is so high, second only to potatoes. Researchers analyzed organic and conventional tomatoes that had been dried and archived under identical conditions from 1994 to 2004.
The levels of flavonoids increased over time in samples from organic treatments, whereas the levels of flavonoids did not vary significantly in conventional treatments, according to the study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Flavonoids may protect against cancer, heart disease, and other age-related diseases.