Is Organic Better? Ask a Fruit Fly

The NY Times featured an article today about the effects of organic produce on fruit flies v conventional produce on fruit flies.

When Ria Chhabra, a middle school student near Dallas, heard her parents arguing about the value of organic foods, she was inspired to create a science fair project to try to resolve the debate.

Three years later, Ria’s exploration of fruit flies and organic foods has not only raised some provocative questions about the health benefits of organic eating, it has also earned the 16-year-old top honors in a national science competition, publication in a respected scientific journal and university laboratory privileges normally reserved for graduate students.

Photo Researchers
Ria Chhabra stands in front of her project.Courtesy of Ria ChhabraRia Chhabra stands in front of her project.

The research, titled “Organically Grown Food Provides Health Benefits toDrosophila melanogaster,” tracked the effects of organic and conventional diets on the health of fruit flies. By nearly every measure, including fertility, stress resistance and longevity, flies that fed on organic bananas and potatoes fared better than those who dined on conventionally raised produce.

Read more here.