US researchers reported that organic foods, both fruits and vegetables, have been found healthier than conventionally grown crops.

They spent ten years studying and comparing organic and standard foods. They found that organic tomatoes contained nearly double the quantity of flavonoids, antioxidants found to prevent diseases such as heart disease and cancer than standard tomatoes. They measured the levels of quercetin and kaempferol in dried tomato samples and found that the average levels in organic tomatoes were 79 % higher for kaempferol and 97 % higher for quercetin over the ten years. It has been reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that the levels of flavonoids increase in samples from organic treatments over time while the levels of flavonoids do not change significantly in conventional treatments.

It is believed that such benefits of organic foods occur due to non-use of fertilizers and because of the over use of fertilizers by conventional farmers. Flavonoids are being produced by plants when they lack nutrients and when the crops receive a large supply of nutrients in the form of fertiliser, there is little need for the natural production.

Other studies have also found that organic foods contained higher levels of nutrients. Organic kiwis were found to have significantly higher levels of vitamin C and organic peaches to have a higher content of polyphenols, another oxidant.
Such studies have influenced consumers to turn to such products in recent years.

The UK’s health foods sector has increased its sale in recent years due to the increased media attention about the “superfoods” and the health benefits of vitamins and other dietary nutrients.
Just to mention Britain’s largest supermarket, Tesco, whose organic food sales increased by 40 % last year and whose organic fruit and vegetables make about 10 % of all foods.