Resverotrol, a compound
found in red grapes, has been shown to be beneficial to health by
lowering cholesterol and preventing cell oxidation, an important
process in the prevention of cancer. Researchers have found that
grapes sprayed with fungicides commonly used on conventional vineyards
had 80% less resverotrol. Resverotrol occurs in grapes as a defense
compound produced in a process known as systemic acquired resistance,
or SAR. SAR in plants produces many types of defense compounds and
is induced by low to medium levels of pathogen and insect attack.
It goes without saying that organically grown crops would have SAR
induction occurring on a regular basis, since organic farmers do
not, for the most part, use eradication as an approach to pest management
and commonly have low levels of pests as part of their overall equilibrium.
There is evidence for this increased SAR, such as the recent finding
that soup made from organic ingredients contain higher levels of
salicylic acid than the same soup made from conventionally grown
vegetables (Baxter 2001)*. Salicylic acid is an important component
of the SAR process, and in fact of the two major SAR pathways in
a plant, one is called the salicylic acid pathway.
* Baxter, G. J. et. al. 2001. Salicylic acid in soups prepared
from organically and non-organically grown vegetables. European
Journal of Nutrition, 40:289-292.
Source: Magee, J.B. and B. J. Smith. 2002. Resveratrol
content of muscadine berries is affected by disease control spray
program. HortScience, 37 (2):358-361