Study: Organic foods more nutritious than nonorganic

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A new study says organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than their nonorganic counterparts.

Washington State University professor Chuck Benbrook led the study, which covered more than two decades of research.

"The bottom line is that how you grow food, how it's fertilized, impacts the nutritional quality of it,” Benbrook said.

The study is the largest ever of its kind, he said, and it shows organic fruits, vegetables and grains contain 20 percent to 40 percent more antioxidants than non-organic, fewer pesticides and half the toxic heavy metal cadmium.

"It's like consuming 1 to 2 extra servings of fruits or vegetables a day, in terms of the antioxidants,” Benbrook said.

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At Pike Place Market in Seattle, people's opinions varied as much as the products on sale.
Jessie Chandler, who sells cherries, said organic is “absolutely not” better than nonorganic, which he sells.

Sandy Sessums said she isn't sure whether it's healthier to eat organic, but she knows nonorganic has ingredients she doesn't want. 

“We want all the chemical use out of it,” Sessums said.

The study is in contrast to a 2012 Stanford University study, which found little evidence that organic foods bring health benefits.
Benbrook said fewer pesticides and more antioxidants mean more nutrition. But he said the real question now is whether those actually lead to better health.