Demand for organic food has never been higher. But Is it worth buying bio and eco products? This is a natural question that appears to be on everyone’s mind, because organic food is usually more expensive and not by a few pennies, but a real, often even several times difference in price.
According to Wikipedia ‘’Organic food is food produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organisations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the farming methods used to produce such products. Organic foods typically are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives’’.
Organic agriculture is about a way of farming that pays close attention to nature. It means fewer chemicals on the land such as fertilisers, which can pollute waterways. With intensive cultivation of vegetables and fruits, the soil in which they grow is so washed out of nutrients that, as a result, not much of what we eat today contains in itself the same dose as what our grandparents ate. Studies show that some small amounts of pesticides remain on fruit and vegetables, even if we wash them thoroughly before eating.
Let’s look at the differences between organic and non-organic produce
How do I know which produce is organic?
Requirements vary from country to country and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping.
In some countries, certification is overseen by the government, and commercial use of the term organic is legally restricted. Certified organic producers are also subject to the same agricultural, food safety and other government regulations that apply to non-certified producers.
Certified organic foods are not necessarily pesticide-free, as certain pesticides are allowed.
Here are the most common organic certifications from around the world
Do all my vegetables and fruit need to be organic?
When it comes to choosing produce, most people assume organic is always the way to go—but the truth is, some fruits and vegetables are just as safe to buy conventionally, and they’re more affordable, too.
EWG, The Environmental Working Group is an American activist group that specialises in research and advocacy in the areas of agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants, and corporate accountability. EWG is a non-profit organization, its research comes in very handy when we need to decide which organic products to put in our shopping basket.
Here is their list of the Dirty Dozen - The products most contaminated with pesticides and chemistry include (in descending order)
And Hot Peppers (A new edition to the list) It has been added because although they do not contain such a high concentration of pesticides, they contain insecticidal substances that are toxic to the human nervous system. Three highly toxic pesticides were found in hot pepper samples: acephate, chlorpyrifos and oxamine. Some of the samples had a significant amount. The EWG recommends that lovers of hot peppers reach for organic products, and if we can't find them - don't eat them raw and cook -them as, after cooking food, the level of pesticides decreases.
Good news for all the shoppers, there is also a list which helps you to determine which produce are save to buy from the conventional not organic produce. The Clean Fifteen is a list of 15 fruits and vegetables that contain the fewest concentrations of pesticides.
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet peas frozen
7. Eggplants/ aubergine
10. Melon cantaloupe
14. Honeydew melon
Organic vegetables may contain more antioxidants and nutrients than regular food, although the evidence is mixed. Consuming organic food may also reduce your exposure to artificial chemicals, hormones and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, it often it may spoil faster.