Organic food has been extremely popular in recent years. Despite greater costs, purchasing organic food has become a moral and social responsibility. Organic food is said to be healthier, more natural, and more ethical than conventional food. Here the question arises. Is organic really better than fast food or other foods? Is organic healthy or is it just a trendy scam? So, let’s go and find out the facts about organic food.
1. What does organic mean?
What exactly do we mean by organic? Because there is no worldwide agreement, many regions have their own definitions and rules. Organic food is grown without the use of GMO seeds, synthetic fertilizers, or pesticides. Organic farmers, on the other hand, use more conventional methods of food production, such as crop rotation, and organic fertilizers like compost or manure.
2. Is organic food healthier?
While the goal to buy organic food is admirable. Is it actually effective, or is it just another expensive trend that we can ignore without feeling guilty? It is said that organic crops are more nutritious and healthier due to their natural cultivation. Organic foods do, in fact, contain higher antioxidants, according to various studies. They are produced by plants as a natural insecticide. Organic plants appear to work a little harder, whereas conventional plants receive lots of assistance from humans.
Antioxidants are thought to provide certain health advantages, while scientists are divided on their effectiveness. We don’t know if and how they aid us, or how much product you’d need to consume to absorb a specific level.
3. What about organic being more nutritious?
The evidence is mixed. Organic foods may have slightly higher levels of vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids, according to some research, while others found no significant differences. Overall, the mixed evidence implies that nutritional value variations are minor. So far, the data suggests that organic food does not provide significant health benefits. What we do know is that eating fruits and vegetables in general is beneficial to your health, and most of us don’t get enough of them. It’s more important to eat vegetables than it is to know how they were grown.
4. Is organic food more natural?
People buy organic not only to receive more vitamins, but also to avoid harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Indeed, multiple studies have found that organic products contain less pesticide residue. But this is when things get tricky. Less pesticide does not imply no pesticide. Pesticides are not prohibited in organic farming, but they should be used only as a last resort. Natural toxins, such as vegetable oils, hot ash soap, Sulphur, or copper sulphates, make up the majority of organic pesticides. However, there are also synthetic chemicals.
5. What's the difference between organic and regular pesticides?
Actually, not much. Organic pesticides may or may not be safer than conventional pesticides. Toxic means dangerous. It makes no difference whether the drug is synthetic or natural. In fact, the organic insecticide of choice for copper sulphate, which is commonly used on organic apples, is actually more toxic to humans. Any substance’s toxicity is determined by its concentration and your exposure to it, not by whether it is natural or not.
A little recent research has looked into how our present pesticide exposure affects our long-term health. A 2018 French study linked never eating organic food to an increased risk of some malignancies. However, the study was heavily questioned. The subjects self-reported their eating habits, but no actual pesticide levels in their bodies were tested.
To make matters even more complicated, a 2018 Danish study indicated that the risk of pesticides for an adult was comparable to drinking a glass of wine every three months. Pesticides on your vegetables aren’t a cause for concern. Despite this, we must continue to demand high food standards. In the EU and the US, all pesticides are tightly regulated and evaluated. Thousands of food samples are tested for pesticides every year. The majority of samples have no residues or only a little amount of residue compared to the tolerance threshold. Contamination by bacteria and fungus is currently far more harmful. And the risk is the same whether you eat organic or ordinary food.
6. Is organic food better for the environment?
In 2017, a meta-analysis examined organic farming in depth, analyzing organic and ordinary foods from over 700 production sites, as well as their influence on greenhouse gas emissions, energy usage, and land requirements.
As a result, there is no clear winner in terms of environmental impact. Organic systems consume less energy than conventional systems yet emit the same amount of greenhouse gases. Organic farms utilize less pesticides but require significantly more land to generate the same yield. A report from the Swedish food agency corroborated these inconsistent results. In most ways, organic and normal were on par. The most significant distinction was in land usage. And it was evident that conventional farming won in this case, as well as in the case of Ecotoxicity, where organic farming had a clear edge. So, according to these results, conventional farming actually has a little bit less impact on the environment compared to organic.
7. Organic versus conventional food
As far as we know, organic food isn’t better than conventional food. Organic agriculture, on the other hand, has a broader influence. Demand is continually increasing, and the fight to meet it can lead to less sustainable manufacturing processes in other ways.
For example, Spain grows tons of ordinary and organic veggies for export in large greenhouses that consume a lot of electricity. Other environmental consequences include dramatically increased greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, because domestic supply cannot meet rising demand, global trade and organic foods are on the rise. As supply chains become more complicated, upholding organic quality requirements and laws becomes increasingly difficult. As a result, there have been cases of fraud in which ordinary food has been labeled and sold as premium organic products.
However, the debate over organic versus conventional food isn’t even a fair one. Organic is more than just a way of manufacturing. It’s an ideology for many. Organic shopping feels right. People want to do the right thing for their children’s health and the planet’s well-being.
Our tendency to think of organic as good and conventional as bad, on the other hand, can stand in the way of making the best option. Stop considering organic and conventional farming to be mutually exclusive. They both have advantages and disadvantages, and combining their greatest traits would be the most effective way to manufacture healthy meals.
The bottom line: Facts about organic food
To summarize, an organic label is a production notification rather than a security certificate or a diet panacea. What you consume matters far more than how it was created. What cuisine you should get for your shopping relies on what you expect from it. If you just want to eat healthier, buy more fruits and vegetables of any kind, not necessarily organic. If you are concerned about the environment, buying organic will not solve your problem. Buying local, in-season food is the simplest option. Seasonal is, in essence, the actual organic.