SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

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Organic Satisfies the Palate

State of Science Review Shows Why Organic Produce Tastes Better

FOSTER, RI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 03/16/07 -- Demand for organic foods is on the rise as a healthier choice, but some "food lovers" are skeptical when it comes to taste.

Taste plays a huge factor in converting consumers to try new foods and according to a Minnesota Opinion Research Inc. poll, 43 percent of consumers say taste is a major reason why they purchase organic fruits and vegetables. So what are the other 57 percent waiting for?

"People have a lot of misconceptions about what an organic meal tastes like," says celebrity chef Akasha Richmond. Eighty-five to 90 percent of the ingredients she uses in her A-list recipes are organic. "Because organic is associated with something that is good for you, people think it will be too healthy and have no taste. But after they try it, most people are shocked at how much more flavor some of their favorite foods have."

And while chefs like Richmond have known instinctively for years that organic produce can add flavor to their menus, a new state of science review, published by The Organic Center, shows why organic fruits and vegetables often taste better.

Published studies have analyzed the sensory appeal of organic fruits and vegetables compared to their conventional counterparts.

Organic fruits and vegetables tend to score higher in taste because they are sweeter than conventionally grown foods. Scientists say this is because of the nutrient density of organic produce and their smaller size. Conventional farming methods are designed to produce bigger fruits and vegetables, but increasing cells size adds more water, diluting the concentrations of both vitamins and natural flavors.

Organic apples, strawberries and tomatoes showed some of the most significant differences in taste, according to the report.

The report also dispels another misconception about freshness. Contrary to what most people believe, organic fruits and vegetables often have a longer shelf life than conventionally grown foods. The higher levels of antioxidants, considered a natural preservative, are actually part of what enables some organic fruits and vegetables to store longer. The other contributing factor is the lower levels of nitrates that come from synthetic fertilizers, which aren't used in organic farming.

Science is showing that organic fruits and vegetables not only taste better, but they are better for you. Nutrient content in organic fruits and vegetables is, on average, higher than in conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. In many cases, the amount of antioxidants found in organic fruits and vegetables is 30-percent higher compared to conventionally grown produce. To get a copy of the taste state of science review, go to http://www.organic-center.org and visit http://www.MO2010.org to find out how you can make a difference by just eating 10-percent organic.

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