Smart Fruit Flies Choose Organic Produce A 16 year old student designed a research study to answer the question, “Which is better for you, organic food or industrially grown food?” Using fruit flies, Ria Chhabra has proven that a diet of organic fare led to measurably improved health over that of flies fed conventional fare. This comes as good news to those of us who were upset with the Stanford University research reported several months ago: “Organic Food Is Not Healthier than Conventional Produce – A Study” as reported in the Huffington Post.
Ria’s research, which was published in a scientific journal, has placed her at the top in a national science competition, and accorded her university laboratory privileges normally reserved for graduate students. Her paper, titled, “ Organically Grown Food Provides Health Benefits to Drosophila melanogaster ,” measured fertility, stress resistance, longevity and other biological effects. Speaking to the New York Times, Ria said, “I had no idea what publishing my research meant,” said Ria, who last week was juggling high school exams, a swim meet and a sweet-16 party. “My mom told me, ‘This is a pretty big deal.’” Ria, still in 10th grade, is about to finish her latest research project studying Type II diabetes and fruit flies.