Organic matters

In what Science Daily calls “the most comprehensive of its kind,” a new study of organic and conventional strawberry farms found that organic farms produced fruit that was tastier, more nutritious and left the soil healthier and more genetically diverse.

Researchers, primarily from Washington State University, analyzed 31 chemical and biological soil properties, soil DNA, taste, nutrition and quality on 13 conventional and 13 organic strawberry farms in California, which produces 90 percent of the nation’s strawberries.

The paper, which is published in the online journal PLoS ONE, describes how organic strawberries had higher antioxidant activity, a longer shelf life, and were plumper, and how organic soils had more genetic diversity, microbial biomass and micronutrients, among other strengths.