July 26, 2022

Organic Food: Is it really better?


Organic food has seen a steady increase in popularity, but it is really so much better than conventionally farmed foods?

The word “organic” when slapped on a food label has almost become synonymous with health and healthier eating. With the Earth slowly melting and the human race thoroughly messing up the future of the planet, it’s no wonder many of us, especially the younger generations, have shown an increasing interest in organic products and food. But what exactly makes something organic? And is it really so much better than conventional food? 

What is organic food? 

For something to be labelled as ‘organic’, it needs to have been farmed naturally i.e.: without the use of artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or genetic modification and not include any preservatives, sweeteners, colouring, flavouring or monosodium glutamate (MSG). 

Organic farming makes use of natural fertilizers, like manure, to improve plant growth and raises animals organically, not giving them any antibiotics or hormones. 

Is eating organic food better? 

Organic food is often marketed as being the healthier, more environmentally friendly option when it comes to purchasing products, food or otherwise. Despite this, many studies conducted on the subject have yielded inconclusive results. 

To this day, no data has presented sufficient evidence that eating organically farmed food is better, safer, or more nutritious than conventionally farmed foods. However, several studies have found that organically grown crops contain slightly more antioxidants and vitamins including vitamin C, zinc, iron, and phosphorus. 

When comparing the uses of pesticides in organic and inorganic farming, studies have also shown there to be lower levels of pesticide residue on organically farmed crops.  Although organic farmers do use pesticides, they usually use natural pesticides rather than synthetic chemicals.  According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), pesticides are potentially toxic to humans and can affect your health.

When it comes to meat and farming livestock, organic farming generally provides livestock with much better living conditions and, like so many other organic things, is much more environmentally conscious and aware. 

Many have also claimed that organic food simply tastes better than non-organic food. 

The downside to going organic

Despite all the glamour that going organic comes with, there are some cons to going fully organic. Organic produce and meat are, in general, more expensive to produce and buy. This is due to the fact that organic food takes longer to produce and has a lower yield rate, the cost to produce it is also generally higher. 

Organic food also goes bad a lot quicker than non-organic. This is due to the lack of chemicals and preservatives used. So, if you’re big on foods with a long shelf-life, organic produce probably isn’t the best thing to buy. 

There simply isn’t enough evidence to suggest that organic food, produce or meat, is inherently better than non-organic food. For now, the ultimate choice on whether organic is better or not relies on YOU. With science continuing to push the boundaries in food production, who’s to say that one day we won’t have conclusive evidence that genetically modified, pesticide-ridden, non-organic food is actually better than organic food?