Here’s yet another reason to buy organic tomatoes. Not only are they free of noxious pesticides, but the succulent red fruit also tastes better and is more nutritiously than its conventionally cultivated counterparts, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The researchers compared organic and conventional field-grown tomatoes from Brazilian farms less than a mile apart. Even though the organic tomatoes were about 40 percent smaller at the time of harvest, they contained 55 percent more vitamin C and 139 percent more phenols (natural compounds with disease-fighting antioxidant properties).
The scientists theorize that because the organic produce are grown in natural conditions—without pesticides and chemical fertilizers—it experiences more “stress” due to insects, weeds, and reduced levels of nutrients. As a result, the plants become hardier and produce protective compounds, causing the fruit to be “endowed with enhanced nutritional properties.”
One of the most important nutrients in tomatoes is lycopene, which creates the red color. Among the health benefits of tomatoes are these:
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