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The Comparison Between Organic and Non-organic Foods

In recent years, the trend towards organic food has increased very rapidly. The most intriguing thing about this is that it is not a result of improved alternative nutrition. Rather, it has become a matter of morality and social standing.

Increasing knowledge of the need for healthy food makes some people more selective in choosing their daily rations. At the nearest supermarket, we can easily find foods labeled "natural" or "organic."

The organic food industry claims it is healthier, more natural, and more ethical. But what does organic mean exactly? Is it true that they are healthier than non-organic ones? What is the difference between organic and non-organic?

What is an Organic Food?

The organic/natural food industry refers to foods grown without genetically modified seeds (GMOs), without synthetic fertilizer, and synthetic pesticides, in general. 

The word "organic," refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and meat products.

Unlike non-organic one, organic/natural food is grown in more traditional ways. For instance, organic fertilizers (compost or manure) and no pesticides are used. There is also the idea that organic farming makes food more nutritious and healthy.

What is a Non-organic Food?

On the other hand, non-organic foods contain ingredients grown and maintained with synthetic substances, such as fruits, vegetables, and meats. In addition, producers use pesticides, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and genetically modified meat.

Crops grown on non-organic farms are created through crossbreeding to produce high-quality fruits and vegetables. Nevertheless, you do not have to worry about the process being supervised by the government and following certain procedures.

Organic Farming Practices In general, organic farming practices improve soil quality and reduce pollution. They also ensure a safe and healthy habitat for livestock and increase the sustainability of farm-produced food while protecting the environment.

Farmer and rancher use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetic engineering, and growth hormones for livestock is banned. It is required that they use natural or synthetic pesticides certified organic by the USDA, including green manures made from manure or compost.

Organic meat products also come from animals raised in a healthy environment, fed organically, and vaccinated.

On the market, look for "organic" labels. According to the USDA, different types of labels have different processing methods and ingredient combinations. It is possible to find labels stating "100 percent organic," "organic" (95%), "made with organic ingredients" (70%), and "organic ingredients" (less than 70%).

Organic/Natural Foods Contain More Nutrients Than Non-organic One?

Is it true that organic foods are better than non-organic ones? Several studies have found something interesting in comparing these two.

1. Antioxidant comparison

Several studies have found that organic foods contain more antioxidants because the plants have to produce their pesticides, unlike non-organic plants with pesticides. 

The antioxidant properties of flavonoids, for example, are increased in organic ones.

Also, it turned out that they have a slightly higher concentration of vitamin C, omega-3, and fatty acids than non-organic ones. Animals raised on grass and alfalfa typically have higher omega-3 fatty acid levels, creating a heart-healthy diet.

However, the difference is not too big for other nutrients. Overall, the results show that organic/natural foods do not seem to have much of an impact on health.

2. Mineral nutrients and pesticides

Compared to conventionally grown crops, they also contain lower levels of metal cadmium.

In addition, eating organic food can reduce the risk of pesticide residues and bacteria.

3. Are organic/natural foods better for the environment?

In 2017, a meta-analysis conducted a detailed study of organic farming, examining more than 700 productions. It also looked at environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and land size.

The result showed that no method was perfect for the environment. Organic farming, on average, uses less energy than conventional farming but has the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Besides that, farming organically uses little or no pesticides, but it takes loads of land to produce comparable yields. Based on Sweden's Food Administration's study.

While conventional agriculture is better for land use, organic agriculture is better for environmental protection. In short, conventional agriculture has a better impact on the environment than organic agriculture.

4. Pesticides on non-organic / conservative food

Generally, people buy organic/natural foods because it helps them avoid toxins like pesticides and artificial fertilizers. But in fact, even the organic ones do contain pesticides, albeit in smaller amounts.

A little pesticide does not mean there are no pesticides at all, truthfully. In fact, most organic pesticides are like natural poisons. Some pesticides, however, are synthetic.

5. Difference between natural pesticides and synthetic pesticides

In general, it does not make much difference whether the pesticides are natural or synthetic.

The problem is the amount of toxin concentration they contain. Copper sulfate, for example, is used in organic apples and is considered the organic pesticide of choice.

Basically, the use of natural and synthetic pesticides is not harmful. Because pesticides are heavily regulated, no residue is left behind, virtually.


Ultimately, both non-organic and organic foods have their advantages and disadvantages. All decisions are in your hands, whether you want to choose organic or non-organic ones.

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