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Organic Strawberry Farms Have Better Soil Genetics, Yield Better Fruit

September 2, 2010: 01:36 PM EST
Organic strawberry farms analyzed in California, the home of 90 percent of U.S. strawberries, yielded more flavorful and nutritious berries without depleting or harming the soil, researchers have found. Soil scientists performed “side-by-side comparisons” of 13 organic and 13 conventional strawberry farms and their fruit for the comprehensive study, which examined 31 chemical and biological soil properties, as well as soil DNA. They also analyzed the taste, nutrition and quality of three strawberry varieties on the 26 commercial fields. The study found that organic strawberries had significantly higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds; longer shelf life; and overall better flavor and appearance. DNA analysis found the organically managed soils had many more total and unique genes and greater genetic diversity.
John P. Reganold, Preston K. Andrews, et al., "Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems", PLoS ONE, September 02, 2010, © Reganold et al.
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