By Erika Bizousky Pd. 1
You’re standing at the grocery store with two vegetables that look almost the same. The only difference is that one has a “USDA Certified Organic” sticker on it. So what’s the difference between the ‘conventionally grown’ vegetable and the ‘certified organic’ one? There are many differences and similarities between these two foods, but which one is better for you and which should you choose to buy?
Here is a good article that represents this issue: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255
First, we should recognize how each of these foods is produced. The conventionally grown fruit has chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth, while organic farmers use natural fertilizers such as manure or compost. To reduce pests and disease, conventional farmers spray insecticides on their plants. Organic farmers used birds, insects, or traps to reduce pests and disease without the use of chemicals. Another difference is that conventional farmers also use chemical herbicides to manage weeds, and organic farmers either hand weed, till, or mulch to control their weeds.
As you can see, the differences are mainly in how they are farmed. Organic and inorganic foods also have some similarities too. One of the most important similarities is nutrition. According to the USDA, no conclusive evidence shows that organic food is more nutritious than conventionally grown food. Although, some studies say organic foods are higher in antioxidants because of the lack of additives, pesticides, and MSG, according to The Soil Association. However, both of the foods meet the same quality and safety standards set by the USDA.
Lastly, organic and conventional foods both have positives and negatives. Both might look the same, but did you know conventional foods are cheaper than organic foods? Conventional foods also last longer than organics because they often have waxes or preservatives on them. Organic foods do not have pesticides on them though. Conventional foods do and can have residue on them. This poses a small health risk with conventional farming. Organic farming is also said to benefit the environment by reducing pollution. If you’d like to be more eco-friendly, I suggest purchasing organic products. Most people say they cannot taste any difference between organics and non-organics, but that may be different for everyone.
In conclusion, organic foods and conventional foods are both good to purchase, but I would buy organic foods. Even though they cost more, I would rather spend a little extra money to help the environment than buy cheaper foods that use pesticides. These can cause harm to the environment and possibly even the consumer. It is your own choice whether to buy conventionally farmed products or organic ones, but I hope I helped by telling you of the information needed to make a good decision.
Resources supporting conventional food: