In recent years, organic food has stolen the spotlight. It’s been the hot topic of the food industry and it’s also becoming more common. “Organic” is a buzzword. But what’s the difference between organic and conventional food?
It’s all about how the farming process. Conventionally, food is produced with one goal in mind: profit. It usually involves farming practices that can harm the earth, and ultimately, our bodies. Man-made chemicals have a big role in conventional farming.
Organic food is grown in a way that works with Mother Nature. It focuses on ecologically sustainable methods without the chemicals. Extra effort is needed to grow organic food, so it’s usually more expensive.
So is it worth the extra change? According to these five facts about organic food, it definitely is.
5 Facts About Organic Food
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1. Natural Pesticide Control
The debate over conventional food vs organic food revolves around harsh pesticides. ‘Big name’ farms are notorious for using chemicals to control weeds, diseases, and infections.1
On the other hand, organic farms use natural methods like crop rotations and biological control. Farmers work with nature to keep things in check. As a result, you’ll be less likely to eat a ton of chemicals.
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2. Higher Nutrient Content
Organic food is healthier than conventional. It’s all because organic farming doesn’t call for nitrogen-rich chemical fertilizers. The crops respond by making more antioxidants!
For example, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that organic tomatoes had higher vitamin C, polyphenols, and carotenoids compared to conventional ones. The organic tomatoes weren’t fertilized with chemicals, which enhanced the antioxidant content.2
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3. Better Quality
Usually, organic food is sold on a local level. This means less travel and storage time, reducing the chances for low-quality goods. It’s also easier to get tasty produce in season.
Plus, the longer those fruits and vegetables travel, the more nutrients are lost. But since organic food is sold locally, it’ll also be more nutritious than conventional food.3
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4. Lower Allergy Risk
With organic food, there’s a lower chance for surprise allergies. The culprit is usually genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
GMOs have proteins from other foods added to it. If you’re allergic to that other food, you’ll have an adverse reaction to the GMO.4 A great example is soy, one of the most common food allergies. A majority of genetically engineered ingredients are made with soy so it can be bad news.5
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5. Environmental Safety
Compared to conventional food, organic is better for the environment. It takes advantage of renewable resources so that waste and byproducts don’t ruin the earth. If there are wastes, they’re used in a way that benefits crops.
More soil and water is conserved with organic food growth. It aims to preserve ecological balance which helps Mother Nature thrive.6
These days, many grocery stores are starting to sell organic food. Always look for the official USDA organic label. You can also find organic foods at health food stores, farmer’s markets, and CSA (community supported agriculture) groups. The differences between organic vs conventional food will transform your health.
|↑1, ↑6||Organic Production/Organic Food: Information Access Tools. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑2||Caris-Veyrat, Catherine, Marie-Josèphe Amiot, Viviane Tyssandier, Dominique Grasselly, Michel Buret, Michel Mikolajczak, Jean-Claude Guilland, Corinne Bouteloup-Demange, and Patrick Borel. “Influence of organic versus conventional agricultural practice on the antioxidant microconstituent content of tomatoes and derived purees; consequences on antioxidant plasma status in humans.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 52, no. 21 (2004): 6503-6509.|
|↑3||Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Fruits & Vegetables. Fruit & Vegetable Preservation Resources.|
|↑4||Genetically Modified Foods. University of Utah.|
|↑5||Soy Allergy. Food Allergy Research & Education.|