The foods we eat today are mostly made from conventional methods. However, the rise of organic foods had steadily grown as the years go by. More and more people are opting for organic food because it is believed that it’s safer, more nutritious, and eco-friendly compared to conventionally-grown food. What sets it back is the hefty price tag for the sake of being organic. To help us understand what organic and conventional really is, let’s have a quick comparison between the two.
- Organic food is produced without using any kinds of pesticides, growth hormones, bioengineering, preservatives, coloring agents, and the like. Which means that every organic meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy products are naturally produced without the need of giving animals antibiotics. Organic means more labor and intensive management since it doesn’t rely on technology, which means it’s more environmental-friendly compared to conventional methods.
- Once a product is sold as “organic”, it needs to be certified first before it hits our shelves. Which means that the products must be grown and processed according to the standards that are verified by your country’s government.
- On the other hand, conventional food relies on fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones, and the like for animals and crops to produce. Conventional farming existed since the 20th century and has been the preferred farming method by many up to this day.
- But conventional farming is not bad after all. There are also instances where it overlaps practice of organic farming. One example is the Integrated Past Management (IPM), where it uses a comprehensive approach to keep pests at bay in an eco-friendly way. With the help of IPM, it reduces the amount of using pesticides for the crops to produce.
The Benefits of Organic Foods
- Many of us choose organic over conventional because it’s known to be overall safer due to the fact that no chemicals, pesticides, or any harmful materials are used. However, there is still no conclusive evidence that organic foods are actually safer and nutritious than conventional-made ones. The National Research Council stated that there’s no problem in opting for conventional-farmed foods as long as it is washed properly before using it.
- However, there is actually some evidence that made organic a healthier choice compared to conventional. One example is the study conducted by the Newcastle University in England where they showed that organic milk has 67% more vitamins and minerals than conventional-produced milk.
- Lastly, the reason why a lot of people choose organic over conventional is because its environment-friendly nature. Organic farming reduces energy use and conserves our natural resources more effectively, keeping our soil, water, air, and especially, our food supply away from toxic chemicals and harmful pollutants.
Organic Food Disadvantages
However, organic food is not actually the holy grail of all healthy foods out there. Despite of its advantages, it also has its drawbacks such as:
- Pricier compared to conventionally-grown foods.
- Highly perishable since they don’t contain any preservatives/chemicals.
- Stocks are limited because some farmers are opting on conventional methods compared to organic.
Food Quality and Safety
- Both organic and conventional foods must meet the USDA quality and safety standards before being sold on stores and supermarkets. The difference goes beneath how the food is produced, processed, and handled to distributors. Keep in mind that organic vegetables tend to spoil faster since they don’t contain any preservative or chemical of any kind.
- In comparison to conventionally-grown vegetables, you will notice that it’s more uniform in shape and has fewer blemishes which looks almost perfect. This also means that it has higher traces of pesticides compared to organic produce. But as long as you thoroughly wash it to remove any single trace of pesticides/chemicals before cooking, then you’re good to go.