Gone are the days when the only sources of food that we have are the organic ones – those found in local farms and cheap food stalls. Given the sophistication of food processors in big companies, we now have choices in terms of our food – organic and inorganic. To define, organic food choices are products grown and harvested using traditional farming. When we say traditional farming, little or no chemicals are introduced to the plants from day 1 until harvest time, except those compounds found in natural habitats of plants like arsenic in underground water. On the other hand, inorganic foods are produced using synthetic materials to promote growth and abundance, so focus on quantity is achieved. While a lot of us mainly think that organic is the better choice rather than inorganic, some consumers actually think the other way around, and, some even opt for both varieties. Today, let’s take a look at both options and learn its differences, advantages, and disadvantages to our health and pocket to decide better on which food type we should patronize.
The appearance and sizes of organic and non-organic produce differ greatly. One, organic foods come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so some bell peppers may appear smaller or bigger than the others. Meanwhile, non-organic pieces most likely come in very similar shapes and sizes because they’re produced using specific measurements. Nonetheless, some consumers and growers state that product shapes and sizes vary largely on the variety, and how it’s produced has nothing to do with it. When it comes to color, most non-organic produce have the same richness of hue while organic kinds don’t have since they’re treated based on natural circumstances. Organic patrons claim that organic portions or cuts are quite modest than non-organic cuts. For instance, organic beef and pork cuts are a bit smaller than non-organic because the animals were not given growth-enhancing feed, which result to slighter cuts. But it should be noted that we cannot really tell the difference when we’re in the market because all tenderloins or pork chops or chicken breasts actually look the same in terms of size and shape. This is because the meat coming animals raised using organic farming has no distinct characteristics.
First of all, the quality of these products varies greatly if we base it on standards. There are certain standards set for organic produce that may not be applicable to non-organic products while there are also certain standards set to non-organic produce that organic ones should meet. In other words, stricter laws and regulations are being imposed on organic harvests. Nevertheless, when it comes to quality, organic food choices are pretty much cleaner compared to its counterparts because less chemicals, less synthetics, less impact to the environment, and less additives are introduced to them. The scenario above is what some consumers think of as food with high quality. Conversely, if you think quality is attributed to uniformity of appearance, bigger portions, and more enticing appeal, you might probably opt for non-organic selections. But again, these factors are in relation to the variety of the product.
The Farming Method
Apparently, organic and non-organic foods are farmed in different ways. Organic goods are prepared, grown, and harvested the natural way. To keep the products blooming and fruitful, composts are often used, mulch is integrated to manage weeds, land is cultivated and tilled manually, and other natural measures are incorporated. If fertilizers and other chemicals compounds are needed to keep the plants well, these are either applied rarely and sparingly. For animals that are raised organically, they’re not given any form of antibiotics and steroids to enhance growth and size, but they’re given organic feed made from sustainable and chemical-free ingredients. They’re also permitted to graze outdoors, given balanced diet, and basically allowed to grow well naturally sans the use of growth medications and the likes. Their pens and habitats are cleaned everyday using natural products, too.
As you can see, the main difference between organic and non-organic products is the inclusion of chemicals and man-made products during the entire process of growing them. While all these substances, in the likes of fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, and other growth spurts are introduced to non-organic goods, it should be noted that they’re applied in limited amounts as growers and farmers use certain methods of application. Despite of that, they still have contact with chemicals, which are then passed to the next level of food chain, and, in this case, we’re talking about us, consumers. Nevertheless, organic farming don’t use any of the compounds mentioned, which goes to show that animals and plants raised in this method have minimal chemical substances thereby, giving us food with little amount of chemicals.
Regardless of the reports that have gone viral on the net, some consumers don’t seem to care about this hub. They’re still patronizing non-organic produce, claiming that the chemical compounds being used to treat and grow animals and plants cannot, in any way, affect its consumers. Experts show that these substances are digested and flushed out of the body of the animals thru urine and feces, and for plants, these compounds wear out overtime once it has served its purpose.
This caused a divided market. Some consumers are strict organic while others don’t seem to care as they continue eating non-organic products. But is buying expensive organic foods really worth it? To better create a sound decision, let’s weigh the pros and cons of each type of food.
(Organic) Pros and Cons
Because of the way they’re prepared and grown and because it’s the recent hub in the consumers’ market, people are made to believe that organic choices are healthier, which may actually be true. Given that zero synthetic products are used to grow these plants and animals, you can expect them to be chemical-free when they get to your body, unless they’re preserved using additives and preservatives. Organic farming is also very eco-friendly. Unfortunately, these foods aren’t easy to find, and they don’t come in tons of supplies as well because the production is both costly and laborious. Not all local supermarkets are selling a wide variety of organic choices, and some may even have hard time finding them in their own locality. Because the demand is way higher than the supply, prices of organic foods are sky high, which discourage most consumers and make them decide to stick to conventional foods. Furthermore, no one can really tell whether an organic farmer is truly using 100% organic farming unless we physically manage and watch them do farming daily.
(Non-Organic) Pros and Cons
Firstly, there’s an abundant supply of these in the market and they’re priced reasonably. Conventional farming with the use of fertilizers and pesticides are rampant all over the world, so anyone can find non-organic choices at their localities. However, health consumers and some health organizations fear that non-organic choices may have chemical compounds in its content, which can be imparted to us during consumption. Surprisingly, there has been no specific evidence yet pointing to this claim. Also, food agencies noted that the chemicals applied to both plants and animals raised the conventional way cannot affect humans in any way. And if there is indeed chemical presence in food inside the human body, it would be too little to create adverse effects to one’s health.