Hereâ€™s a reason to splurge on organic.
An apple not treated with pesticides contains more than 100 million diverse bacteria could make them better for our health than conventional apples, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.
These millions of microbes are important in maintaining a healthy gut environment, which other research has linked to everything from lowering our risk of developing allergies to better mental health.
In the study, researchers compared the bacteria in store-bought apples with organic ones that were the same varietal and had roughly the same appearance. They tested all parts of the apple, from the skin to the stem.
Though they found there were the sameÂ amount of bacteria in both kinds of apples, the variety was vastly different. This diverse bacterial community is the key to making them healthier than conventional, non-organic apples.
Eating something like an organic apple is especially good because typically itâ€™s not cooked, which can kill the helpful bacteria, author Gabriele Berg from Graz University of Technology in Austria told The Guardian.
â€œThe bacteria, fungi and viruses in our food transiently colonise our gut,â€ she said. â€œCooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and veg are particularly important sources of gut microbes.â€
Organic apples also taste better, the researchers confirmed. A microbe known as methylobacterium â€” which enhances strawberry-flavored compounds, is â€œsignificantly higher abundant in organic apples,â€ the researchers wrote.
The outcome is a win-win-win for us, the trees and the environment, researchers concluded.
â€œOrganic apples conceivably feature favorable health effects for the consumer, the host plant and the environment in contrast to conventional apples, which were found to harbor potential food-borne pathogens,â€ they wrote.
And in case you were wondering, no, the study was not written by an organic apple, or paid for by Big Apple for that matter. The authors got funding from the Austrian government for the research.