In the aisles of the supermarket, deciding between conventional and organic fruit can render you paralyzed in front of the produce mister. But thanks to a new study, the next time you go grocery shopping the choice might be a little clearer: organic. 

Researched published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture shows that when kiwifruit is grown organically, it’s healthier than when it’s grown conventionally. When scientists compared fruits grown each way, they found that the organic fruits have more vitamin C, minerals, and polyphenols, chemical substances with antioxidant properties that might be good for health and could help prevent cancer.

Past studies concluded that organic fruit might be healthier, but this is the first that finds conclusively that organic is the way to go with a particular fruit. According to a press release of the study: 

Their work differed [from] previously inconclusive studies, as they were able to compare like-for-like with kiwis grown next to each other on the same farm at the same time, in the same environmental conditions.

When kiwifruits are not exposed to pesticides, they have to rely on their own defenses. Researchers found that organic kiwis had thicker skins, which might prevent insects from burrowing into the fruit. A reason for the higher level of antioxidants could also be because the plant produces them when under stress. No pesticides = more stress = higher antioxidants. 

So the next time we find ourselves pondering the choice between organic or not, we’ll try to arm ourselves with knowledge about which fruits and veggies to buy organic before getting showered.

Story by Susan Cosier. This article originally appeared in Plenty in March 2007. This story was added to in July 2009.

Copyright Environ Press 2007.

A kiwi a day
Scientists found that organic fruits have more properties that might be good for health and could help prevent cancer.