Although I don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone, there does appear to be a formal study confirming that organic foods are likely to contain more nutritional value:
[i]Organic agriculture got a big boost Monday from a study proving that fruit grown without chemical inputs contains significantly larger quantities of at least three compounds associated with improved health.
Scientists at the University of California in Davis grew two otherwise identical plots of kiwis side-by-side, one organically and the other with a standard mix of herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizer.
Upon reaching maturity, and after different periods of storage, the organic fruit showed 18 and 27 percent higher levels, respectively, of polyphenols and antioxidant activity, both widely linked with health benefits.
A raging scientific debate over whether eating organic makes a difference has not prevented organic food sales from soaring 20 percent a year, reaching some 28 billion dollars in 2006, according to the Bonn-based International Federation of Agriculture Movements.
This is one of the first studies, the authors contend, that factors out all other possible influences in comparing conventionally grown and chemical-free food plants.
The authors of the study, published in the peer-reviewed British journal of the Society of Chemical Industry, conjecture that the difference in polyphenol levels may be due to the negative impact of chemical farming.[/i]