Appearance change between organic and non organic fruit

canadianplantSeptember 7, 2013

I was at the grocery store yesterday and I noticed something interesting.

I walked up to the apple tables, and saw the royal gala apples. They looked like nothing out of the ordinary. Beside them, there was a spot with very dark red colour with a large amount of stripes. It didnt look familiar, so I grabbed one. Turns out its a royal gala apple, grown organicly.

Has anyone noticed any difference in appearence between organic and non organically grown fruit of the same type?

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

The only difference between organic and non organic is the price. Any other perceived difference is simply observational bias.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:52AM
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ericwi

Organic fruit and vegetables are less uniform in appearance. There will be more variation in size and shape. You can see this with carrots and tomatoes. Apples are sorted according to size, before they are set out for retail sales, so apples tend to have uniform size, organic or conventional.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:55AM
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murkwell

Two apples of the same variety but grown in different circumstances may look quite a bit different from one another.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 11:14AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Organic is kind of a joke to a lot of farmers.....they use to have to send the grade #2 fruit to the juice plants and bulk buyers as they were blemished and received very little for them. Now they simply sell the inferior damaged fruit as "Organic" and receive top dollar. In most states as long as your check clears you get your organic certification.

There are only 49......agents that check on organic practices for the USDA in the US....how many million farms are there?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 11:18AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Bamboo-

They were selling horse meat in Europe and labeling it as beef... Pink slime? All kinds of good stuff out there. Another reason to buy as local as possible or better yet, straight from a farmer or just go shoot your own meat...grow your own fruit.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 12:04PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Frank,

I'm not real sure of your horse meat comment....horse meat is a very common meat in Europe. That is where a heck of a lot of American horses end up on plates. If you mean farmers or businesses were doing the old switch and lie.....like they do here selling non organic as organic I agree. Btw horse meat is quite good if you have never had it.....no way it could be confused with beef, it is just too different. Horse is pretty stringy and sweeter than beef. (just googled to see what you were referring to) I see they were adding it to ground beef. If you ever get to try salsiccia di equino...... to die for.

I agree completely about buying local and from local farmers.....I grow so much because that way I KNOW what went in to the food. I use nothing on my crops that I consider unsafe. For insect control we use ducks and chickens. We also raise rabbits and ducks for meat and eat a lot of fish that I catch myself, Grouper and such. We eat almost no beef. Heck we don't even feed our dogs commercial food but instead a raw diet we make ourselves.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 13:04

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 12:58PM
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canadianplant

Bamboo rabbt - this was a legit noticeable difference. A much farker red and more prominent striping. This wasnt a slight difference, this was like the diffeence between macintish and granny smith. THey were both labeled "royal gala new zealand", the only difference was they were grown organic.

Also, there are some studies showing organic veggies are more nutritious. Most people prefer the taste (which could be as you mentioned, obervational bias).

To my knowledge the only difference between farming and organic farming, is the use of manures and compost as fertilizer and a limited use, if any of chemical sprays. Generally speaking the methods are the same, unless you classify permaculture food forests as organic, and IMO you cant.

Horse meat is illegal in most if not all states, and i believe it is also illegal in some EU countries. I know its illegal in canada, except quebec.

Also, I grow food for the same reasons. I know what goes into it, i know how its been treated and if something goes wrong, its me and no one elses fault. Its easier then having to worry what some farmer is doing 2000 miles away.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 1:19PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

canadian:

Any one variety of apple will have highly variable color and even shape depending on growing conditions. So unless the organic and non were from alternating trees in the same orchard the difference is likely due to something else.

Apples grown in a warmer climate will be shorter and more wide than cool climate apples. I'm sure growing districts in NZ vary in climate.

Now it is possible that the conventional apples were sprayed to change their color or shape. The really long Red Delicious in the store with the characteristic lobes on the tip end are sprayed to accentuate the shape. There are also sprays to color up the apples. But your organic were darker, maybe they were sprayed but maybe they were from a cooler district. Apples in TX aren't nearly as red as from the northern states.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 13:43

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 1:33PM
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MrClint

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

fyi, I have been told that manure is not considered organic if you are "certified organic"

Chances are the difference in color is one is mislabeled, grown in a different location, or held in storage for a different amount of time

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 2:56PM
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canadianplant

Thanks fruitnut

The "regular" gala had that slight green undertone. I didnt see any of that in the organic. I really should have taken a picture... There are definitely different climate zones in NZ. Maybe it is just sun exposure. I know apples and pears "blush" in the sun, but this was the entire apple...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 3:09PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Canadian,

Different tree? Or perhaps the non organic were put in the organic bin at the grocery store or mixed up at the processing plant or farm..who knows. I think Fruitnut explained that well.

Yep and there are studies that show there are ZERO health benefits from organic......sorry but it is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

If in fact horse meat is illegal in Canada that is quite funny as the horses that come from America go to slaughter houses IN CANADA (Canadians should be ashamed) and Mexico and from there back to the USA or mostly to Europe. Far as your claim that horse meat is illegal in all of the United States that is utter nonsense. Fact is a horse slaughter house for human consumption is due to open in the US to compete with those horse killing Canadians:) President Obama authorized horse slaughter again in the US.....given his eating of dogs in the past he will probably authorize dog slaughter houses soon.

You can find places all over the web that say selling or eating horse meat is illegal but that is just a myth. I can buy horse sausage right here in my home town....you can order horse jerky online and as soon as the Obama authorized horse slaughter house opens it could be available at your local butcher.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 3:11PM
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MrClint

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 3:29PM
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canadianplant

I double and triple checked that the apples werent a mistake. I even asked the produce guy to bring me a couple from another pallet. Best answers ive heard were conventional fruits getting gassed for ripeness, or growing conditions. I dont think they are from the same farm, but according to the tags, they are the same "royal gala apple".

I did a quick google, and it does seem that things changed since I looked a few months ago. Those same studies also say it isnt as simple as which one is more "nutritious".

I also double checked horsemeat. In canada its "taboo" (hell in some places it might as well be illegal because of the taboo). Quebec is the only province that doesnt seem to have said taboo. There are also apparently some slaughterhouses in toronto with a decent market for it (due to the ethnic population) and the same with vancouver.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 5:48PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Canadian,

Horses are beautiful creatures but then again so are cows, well at least to some. The aversion to using horses as meat is an emotional response.......some people just let their emotions overwhelm their logic......that kind of ties in to your man made global warming thread:)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 6:23PM
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canadianplant

LOL nice tie in :D

Horses are nice, but any animal can be though of as such. Its what we are used to, and we seem to think horses like companions, rather then workers or a source of meat.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 6:42PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Yep......in many countries insects are an important food source but here no....same could be said for small animals like rats or dogs. Though now that President Obama got the slaughter of horses started again dogs can't be far behind.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Getting back to the original topic, there is a big difference in fertilization practices in organic vs conventional. Conventional growers often put too much N in and they get big tasteless fruit. They also may be missing micronutrients, etc.

Some people claim the synthetic sprays cause trees problems by destroying some of the helpful fungi etc on the leaf surfaces. I have never seen convincing evidence either way on that.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 9:35AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Scott,

I don't understand your comment......organic growers still get paid by the pound. They do not get paid based on taste lol. It is still a business.....organic food is not being grown only on communes by hippies:) So as a business it is important to make their fruit weigh as much as possible so they would push the N as much as non organic.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Its hard to just push N if you are organic, the fertilizers are either 5-5-5 or lower and with many other micronutrients in them, or they cost so much its not going to pay off in fruit size.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:55AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Scott,

Profit is always an overriding motive.....I have yet to see organic fruit that was any smaller than non, the organic is just generally uglier. So what is the explanation for that? Do you notice where you live that organic fruit is noticeably smaller?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:05AM
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canadianplant

Its "uglier" because they dont douse the whole tree in chemicals. There is technically nothing wrong with blemished fruit, except in our own minds....

Also, here is a picture. I managed to get some... The 2 n the ends are the organic, the one in the center is the "regular".

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:25AM
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curtis(5)

Funny how people who don't want to believe in the health risks of modern chemical farming will make excuses and ridicule organic, Non-organic farmers are the worst about this, because it is not just what they eat, but also how they do their job and what they have invested their money in. One common thing I hear is " I have eaten this way all my life and I'm fine" You will get this answer from someone overweight with high blood pressure, E.D, type 2 diabetes, fybromyalgia, and so on. No point in arguing with these people, they stubbornly stick to what they want to be true because they don't want to change anything.

These apple though, I'm going with "other environmental factors" Different conditions between the two.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:27AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

CCKW,

I hate to burst your bubble but there are ZERO health benefits from eating so called organic food.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bursting the organic is healthy bubble

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Organic fruit here is often smaller. The size isn't the only factor however, if there is more N you can get a tree to carry a bigger load of large fruit.

Re: the study you cite, one study doesn't mean much you need to look at all the studies. A meta-study looked at all the studies on organic vs not apples and found the organic apples contain more phenols. The problem with all these studies is it is very difficult to get reliable data. One other issue is whether an orchard is organic or not is only one component. Wet vs dry farmed orchard will make a huge difference in taste, bigger than organic vs not. An organic farmer can still pump up the N beyond the optimum for flavor. Also eating fruit vs eating a big mac is a lot more important to diet than organic vs not.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 4:05PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

The term "organic" is an excellent marketing tool. The guy who thought of it is a genius. I myself would think nonorganic has a better chance of being more nutritious since it offers the plants raw food right now. No waiting for bacteria to break it down into a form the plant can use. So it's much easier to control nutrient levels, and monitor them with non organics.
To me I really don't care how the plant obtains it's nutrients. I like to use organic fertilizer because it has more sway in amount. it's hard to burn plants with organics. It's easier to use. Some exceptions like blueberries and corn. Organics are fine for these plants, but great results can be obtained with soluble nitrogen. The nitrogen in organic fertilizer is still the same nitrogen in ammonium sulfate. Absolutely no difference. As a matter of fact that nitrogen from AS, might end up being organic next time it cycles around to being fertilizer again. Feed the Ammonium sulfate fertilized corn to cows, use the manure on the next crop.
Miracle grow btw adds micro nutrients now. I still prefer soluble for house plants. Bacteria do not grow well in small pots.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 6:31PM
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canadianplant

CCKW - What you talk about is a major part of the problem. The thing is, they are people mind set and world view. Its how they are taught is ok, or what is normal. We want the change now, but we have to teach the younger generations how to change, rather then passing on our bad habits and continuing the cycle.

RE: those apples

I am wondering if there would be a colour change due to growing conditions, specifically if organically grown fruit has had the level of difference as I showed in the pic above.

Bamboo Rabbit - Its up in the air it seems. There are too many variables to think of to get proper controlled experiments. I dont think its safe to say it is or isnt more nutritious yet. I personally assume organic should be more, if a little, but thats my thoughts, not something that i read in a paper :P

Drew - I think many advocates of organic dont understand that there are differences between some agro chemicals. There is a difference between the sulfer we use to acidify the soil and petroleum based fertilizers and sprays.

The differences (As far as I know, and please correct me if im wrong) between the sulfer and the petroleum products are the source. I believe the sulfer we use is naturally occuring, where as the nitrogen fertilizer we use is usually based on oil byproducts. The oil industry has its own stigmas, problems and bias which translates to the agro chemicals made from them.

I definitely prefer soluble fertilizer for all of my indoor potted plants. The soil leeches nutrients too fast, and if you dont supplement with something then you have to repot or top dress the plant quite often. I use seaweed fert mixed to 1 tsp per gallon, and add 1/4 dose 20-20-20.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 7:56PM
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curtis(5)

Bamboo Rabbit,, sorry I didn't read your article, but am sure I have heard it all before.

I suspect you are one of those people that has heard so much of the better-then-you elitist BS that you just won't consider anything that started in that part of society.

I don't embrace the government rubber stamp, just the clean natural methods of food production. I won't go into the health of any of my family members, except to say in my house we have heath issues with many foods and 75% of our food comes from producers we know. You are lucky if you can eat anything and not feel anything negative as a result. But that gets back to my original point of people not being aware or not willing to admit the connection of eating pizza and an emergency trip to the bathroom, or sore joints or etc

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:54PM
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MrClint

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:25PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

CCkw,

Why not read the article? It is from the Stanford school of medicine.....isn't like the article was published by Dow or Monsanto:) Stanford is a left leaning school, they are elitists lol. You remind me of a friend that went with my wife and I to see the cadaver display at MOSI in Tampa. She loved the exhibit but when we came to the part where it had the cadavers that had smoked she detoured around that area of the room.......because she smoked. She did not want to see or read anything that disrupted her self formed view that cigarette smoking was harmless.

Well to be honest many people would consider me one of those elitists:) I retired at 40 and can do most anything anything and buy the best, I don't have to be careful of my food budget. The ironic part of this is I agree 100% on avoiding poisons. I grow many 100's of fruiting plants yet I spray no poisons, not even organic poisons. I grow my own fruit as a hobby and because I want to know what is in my food and have better quality. I will call my growing system "smart food" :) I research what items I use and only after I am satisfied it is safe do I use it.

So you see my problem with the organic food is not the food itself but instead the marketing ploy, it is a scam......snake oil and people are being cheated.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:14AM
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MrClint

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:43PM
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