What are the differences between organic and conventional products?

Products that are labeled as organic are up 30% to 50% more expensive than the others. Why is there this gap in prices? Is it worth it to pay more and stay organic?

The first thing you need to know is that all fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and nutrients, which is why they should be a significant part of your diet. When choosing between organic and conventional, remember that the label indicates the process by which the plants were grown and not the number of health benefits in the product.

Conventional foods are those which were cultivated in a traditional way: using some fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that may include chemical products. These applied to the earth or on the fruits to prevent diseases, for pest control, and to extend their post-harvest lives.

You may wonder if pesticides are harmful to humans, as they already kill insects and bugs. They shouldn’t be dangerous if they’re well managed and in the correct doses. High levels of exposure can lead to negative health impacts in farmers that manipulate them. However, the applications are regulated and monitored by the government to ensure that food production is safe.

Conventional fruits and vegetables were cultivated in a traditional way

Organic producers also need to fight against bugs and pests, but they have to use natural products, which aren't usually as effective. In some countries, they can't even use genetically modified products, like seeds. These usually help farmers avoid the use of some pesticides, for example, when a gene is removed to discourage some insect's presence. That's why, in the end, their yield is lower, which partly explains the high price. 

On the other hand, getting an organic certification takes time and dedication. The production land has to be on uncontaminated soil with uncontaminated water. Farmers need to be willing to get strict inspections, do a lot of paperwork, and pay expensive fees to be formally "certified organic". That's the reason why this label is a guarantee that everything is produced as they claim it to be.

Organic products need organic certification

As both organic and conventional food are equally nutritious, the choice of what to buy and consume is up to your wallet and your philosophy. If you go for organic, you can be sure that no chemical products were used in its production process, because you know how hard it is to get an “organic” label. You’ll pay more but you’ll sleep well, knowing your environmental contribution to supporting farmers that do the effort to produce organically. 

Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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