Organic Food: Is It actually healthier?

Organic food production is supported through different methods. These include biological pest control, crop rotation and an increase in biodiversity through hedges and the correct feeding of livestock.
Organic Food: Is It actually healthier?

Last update: 11 April, 2019

Nowadays, the idea of following the ideal diet is becoming increasingly popular. From here comes a question: is a diet that’s based on organic food, actually healthier?

What is organic food?

People also refer to organic food as ecological food. This food has undergone minimal treatments and it doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or preservatives. It also food that has not been through ionizing radiation.

We define these foods as deriving from agriculture and livestock, based on a respect for the environment. This food also involves animal well-being and the maintenance and improvement of soil productivity.

Cattle in a farm

In order to define ecological food other than by its nutritional value, it’s a standard of production and manufacturing process that people or companies cultivate ecologically.

Advantages of organic food

Health

Using fertilizers, chemical pesticides or transgenic seeds is forbidden in organic farming. However, experts don’t completely exclude the possibility of contamination, because these residues can remain on the land, in the irrigation system or even in the rain.

Organic food maintains the original nutritional properties. These foods are rich and are balanced in nutrients, besides following strict regulations of quality and control.

Environment

They promote animal and vegetable biodiversity and maintain the animal’s habitat and the wild flora.

In organic farming, desertification is non-existent, thanks to polyculture.

Nutritional values

Despite our knowledge, we still need to complete more research. Experts have proven that some organic or ecological fruits and vegetables contain more vitamins and minerals than their non-organic equivalents. This is because they contain less water.

Although these aren’t exactly nutrients, these kinds of foods also contain more enzymes, antioxidants and biologically active substances (polyphenols, flavonoids, etc).

Organic carrots

Disadvantages of organic food

They’re sold in a small number of stores

You can find these products in alternative food stores, consumer cooperatives and specific sections of larger stores. But, they aren’t usually available in many other stores.

 

Appearance

Most organic products have better organoleptic properties than traditional food, but, because the preservatives have been removed, organic food might not have the same pleasing appearance as other products. Sometimes, this can cause rejection by the consumer.

Overpriced

The cost is a major disadvantage, in comparison to other foods. This could impact the development of the organic sector. We have noticed that foods such as organic milk, are double or even triple the price or regular products.

One of the reasons for this is the need to find alternatives to fertilizers and pesticides, which means more machinery and labor.

Besides, lesser-known products have a lower demand, which means low production. This increases delivery and transportation costs.

Are organic foods healthier?

Now we have the information, let’s analyze if organic food is actually healthier than regular food.

We’ve already talked about some organic fruits and vegetables containing more vitamins and minerals, as a result of their low water content.

However, more research is necessary to claim this. A varied consumption of traditional vegetables and fruits can also provide you with all of the vitamins and minerals that you need.

Also, don’t forget about the other food groups, such as legumes, whole grain, nuts, and eggs.

We could say that organic food is healthier if we are referring to the absence of contamination, chemicals, and fertilizers.

However, when it comes to nutritional value, food that’s derived from organic crops or livestock, consumed with the same frequency and in the same amount as regular food, doesn’t give you any extra health benefits.

The advantage of this type of food is reducing the ecological footprint, animal well-being and optimal land maintenance.

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