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Organic or conventional? What's the difference

On one hand, you have an organic apple and on the other you have a conventionally grown apple. Both are firm, shiny, red, providing vitamins and fiber, and both are free of cholesterol, sodium and fat. Which one should you choose?

Let's start off with what is "organic" according to The Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) states that:

"Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.

Organic agriculture is a systems approach to production that is working towards environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production. Instead, the agricultural systems rely on crop rotation, animal and plant manures, some hand weeding and biological pest control."

In OMG words, "organic" refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to meet the following goals:

  • Enhance soil and water quality
  • Reduce pollution
  • Provide safe, healthy livestock habitats
  • Enable natural livestock behavior
  • Promote a self-sustaining cycle of resources on a farm

There are many reasons why someone might choose organic. Could be the taste, health, nutrition, to avoid pesticides and a concern for the environment. The organic movement promotes healthier soil and it stands to reason that in the long run, organic farming is better for the environment and our health.

Here's a tip for the omg readers, Organic or not, check the label:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed. Any product labeled as organic on the product description or packaging must be USDA certified. If it is certified, the producer may also use an official USDA Organic seal.

Interested in more info on organic vs conventional produce? Check this video out: