18 Oct 2018
It happens to several of us in a supermarket when we buy vegetables and produce - deciding whether to buy regular food or organic.
For some, organic food may signify that it is healthier and likely more nutritious than its regular counterpart. For others, it may mean that it is eco-friendlier or tastier. It can also mean chemical-free, good or simply more expensive.
The organic vs conventional or non-organic food argument will wage on as long as most of us still peer at our food bills and shout “How much?” Sad, but true, we do associate inorganic food with one essential thing organic food can’t be: cheap. At least for now.
But does organic food have any proven health benefits? Let’s find out.
The word ‘organic’ doesn’t actually refer to the food itself, rather the way it’s grown, prepared and presented to us at point-of-sale.
Organic food – be it fruit and veggies or living, breathing cattle and chickens – are grown and/or farmed without chemicals, hormones or antibiotics
Organic animal farming is undoubtedly more ethical than regular farming with certain regulations strictly in pace against animal cruelty, housing them humanely and guaranteeing a level of comfort for the animals. But it’s not the same with organic vegetable and fruit produce.
While one of the most discussed advantages of organic foods is that is pesticide-free, it is not necessarily true. According to a 2010 study are not always a 'greener' choice. In fact, per the findings, some organic pesticides can actually have a worse impact on the environment than conventional ones.
Another study by researchers at Oxford Univerity that analysed 71 peer-reviewed studies found that organic products can sometimes be worse for the environment. Organic milk, cereals, and pork generated higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional ones but organic beef and olives had lower emissions.
Are genetically modified foods safe and good for us? What are the pros and cons of these GM foods? Find out in our previous blog post!
Well, perhaps not as well as it should be; not yet. While organic exports from Australia get the full body search before they go anywhere, locally distributed organic produce is, comparatively, subject to little more than a light frisk.
But don’t worry; in the meantime, you can rely on any supermarket produce labelled ‘Certified Organic’. This guarantees said produce has been given a thorough once-over by an independent third party and made the grade.
At the moment, there are no definitive studies to support the argument that there are any significant differences in the vitamin content of organic and conventional foods.
In conclusion, it is essential to buy and eat healthy, sustainable food and to watch what you eat, avoiding processed foods. Whether organic or non-organic foods, try to buy them locally. Local produce is competitive in costs within supermarkets, is fresh, with less CO2 emissions and you will also be promoting local businesses.
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