Organic strawberries may cost more, but it’s a price worth paying, scientists say.
The fruit is both tastier and better for your health, research shows.
The most detailed study of its kind has found that they contain higher levels of anti-cancer nutrients than fruit sprayed with chemical pesticides.
Naturally-produced strawberries also have a longer shelf life and a richer, more fruity flavor, according to the researchers.
Their findings add to a growing body of evidence that organic food is healthier than conventional fruit and vegetables.
Dr John Reganold, who led the study at Washington State University in the U.S., said: ‘We show that you can have high quality, healthy produce, without resorting to an arsenal of pesticides.’
Researchers analyzed the taste, nutrition and quality of three strawberry varieties growing on 13 organic and 13 conventional farms in California, as well as 31 chemical and biological properties of the soil where they were grown.
The organic fruit had ‘ significantly higher’ levels of antioxidants – nutrients that mop up potentially dangerous and cancer-causing ‘free radicals’ in the body.
They also last longer and have ‘more strawberry in the strawberry’, Dr Reganold reports in the journal PLoS One, published by the Public Library of Science.
In blind taste tests, volunteers said they found organic strawberries sweeter and more flavorsome. And when they saw the fruit, they judged the strawberries from the organic farms to have a better color.