We are living in the era of the organic food craze. Most people have learned a simple equation – if it is organic, it is good for me. Simultaneously, very few understand the real meaning of organic food and know what its advantages over conventional foods are.
Is organic food really that much better? Does it have the qualities that media empower it with? Can the intake of organic food result in longevity, disease-free life, sexual might and all the other wonderful health benefits everyone wants to experience?
For a start, what is the real meaning of organic food? Organic should signify natural. Or at least more natural than conventional. Organic food is grown following a set of regulations that prohibit the use of specific chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) controls the production of organic foods. As the USDA guidelines read: “the principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.”
Conventional food, on the other hand, is grown without strict regulation over ‘natural’ production methods. Growing plants the usual way could involve the usage of pesticides and chemicals.
If we take into consideration solely these facts, organic food seems to be way better (and cooler) than conventional food. Is there anything we are missing to get the complete picture?
The benefits of organic food consumption become obvious immediately. Organic food is grown the ‘natural’ way. It involves the usage of natural fertilizers and pest control methods. Further, organic food production helps environmental protection and limits pollution.
Should we completely forget about fruits and vegetables grown the traditional way?
Swedish National Food Administration reports that it has managed discovering no nutritional benefits related to the consumption of organic food. Conventional food scores a point, since it is more inexpensive and readily accessible.
Standards concerning organic food production differ from one country to another. Plus, who says that conventional food production does have to involve the usage of pesticides? Many farmers, who grow fruits and vegetables conventionally, refrain from adding pesticides and harmful chemicals. Drawing a line between traditional and organic production could be difficult.
The Independent published the results of research carried out over the past 50 years. The study found no measurable health benefits related to the consumption of organic food.
The report quotes Dr. Alan Danquor, the expert responsible for supervising the study. “A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally-produced crops and livestock, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance,” Danquor said.
Supporters of the organic lifestyle opposed the study, saying that it fails taking into consideration some important nutritional differences between organic and conventional foods.
Emphasizing on the similarities between organic and conventional foods is in no way opposition to the consumption of organic food. Organic is a lifestyle, people who purchase such foods make a statement. The organic lifestyle is eco-aware and taking into consideration environmentally-friendly practices.
What matters is making an informed selection. You should buy organic because you know what it means rather than because the term has become fashionable. Traditional food is perfectly fine and healthy. Conventional agriculture is miles away from the image of greedy for profit farmers, who pour tanks of pesticides over defenseless little sprouts. Dismiss the media craze and learn more about the food you are eating. This is the only way to know what is best for you.