Organic is (not) better - Eat Complete
October 24, 2019

Organic is (not) better

Originally posted on

It’s a common supermarket dilemma: you’re standing in the aisle between a regular product and its organic version. Your instinct and all marketing signs tell you that organic must be better, but your mind is struggling for a rational reason why. The romantic ‘back-to-nature’ appeal of organic food is strong and difficult to outshout, but for the love of facts and rational supermarket decisions, let’s try. Here’s an overview of what organic food really is and how it compares to its non-organic neighbours on the shelf.

Organic food. What’s that again?

Organic food is food produced through organic farming. That means without any synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic farming employs techniques like crop rotation and companion planting, which promote biodiversity and long-term soil quality. That’s the black-and-white definition. To keep it balanced, it’s important to clarify a couple of points.

First of all, not using synthetic pesticides doesn’t mean not using pesticides. Organically farmed or not, crops are vulnerable to predators and diseases, and pesticides are required to protect them. Both organic and conventional farming make use of a combination of natural and synthetic pesticides Source: PAN UK.

Next to that, although organic farming generally prohibits the use of antibiotics on livestock, it can be allowed with limitations when alternative treatments are inappropriate. Last but not least, crop rotation and other soil-enhancing techniques aren’t exclusively used by organic farmers. Conventional producers also make use of them to improve fertility and crop yield…

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