There appear to be little or no nutritional or taste benefits to growing food organically as opposed to non-organically, a two-year study by consumer group Which? has suggested.
Small-scale trials of three popular crops – potatoes, calabrese (broccoli) and tomatoes – revealed non-organically grown vegetables were tastier and more nutritious than organically grown crops, according to experts for the watchdog.
Laboratory tests found the non-organic calabrese had a significantly higher level of antioxidants than the organically grown samples, while non-organic potatoes contained more vitamin C than the organic crop.
And a panel of expert tasters found the non-organically grown tomatoes had a stronger tomato flavour and were slightly sweeter than the organic samples.
Which? Gardening editor Ceri Thomas said: “The surprising results of this small-scale trial call into question a lot of preconceptions about the taste and nutritional value of organic vegetables.
“However, this trial didn’t look at other benefits of going organic, such as the impact on the environment. Whatever methods you use, any gardener will tell you that home grown fruit and veg beat supermarket fare hands down.”