A team of independent experts, which included ecologists, soil scientists and food chemists, reported that both the organic strawberries they studied and the soil in which the berries were grown were superior to conventional berries. But, the researchers caution, organic versions aren’t better in every way.
The study compared organic and nonorganic strawberries from 13 pairs of farms in Watsonville, Calif., where 40 percent of California’s strawberry crop originates. Analysts found that the organic berries in the study contained significantly less potassium and phosphorus and were 13.4 percent smaller than the nonorganic varieties. And perhaps most surprisingly, the organic strawberries didn’t sweep the board when it came to the taste tests. Although tasters declared two of the three organic varieties to be more desirable than their nonorganic equivalents, nonorganic San Juan strawberries scored higher than the organically grown San Juan berries.