As people have become more health-aware, there are many labels that are now applicable to foods. But organic has the biggest health halo of them all.
Let’s have a look at the difference between conventional and organic produce in Australia and if organic always is the best choice.
What does conventional mean?
Conventional is a type of farming that uses things like synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers to maximise yield. In some cases, they will also use genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
Conventional farming tends to be on a larger scale and require a lot of machinery.
Many people find the use of chemicals and GMOs to be concerning, as there is no long-term research to show the safety of their use.
Conventional also tends to be more detrimental to the environment, thanks to chemical run-off, intensive farming methods and greenhouse gas production.
What does organic mean?
The term ‘organic’ has many meanings across the globe. Generally speaking, organic produce are crops that are grown without using synthetic pesticides.
They also won’t use synthetic fertilisers or GMOs. Instead, they must use organic fertilisers and pesticides.
There are further rules regarding how long it has been since using any non-organic products, but this depends on the certifying body.
Organic can be a better choice for the environment.
An ongoing study at the Rodale Institute has found organic farming builds up the soil, uses less energy and produces lower levels of greenhouse gases.
In Australia, there is no one governing body that offers certification for organic food and products.
So it can be difficult to navigate what is actually organic and what isn’t. If you’re unsure, have a look for a certified organic logo of any kind.
If it’s not there, you might be paying extra for something that isn’t necessarily organic.
Is organic always better?
The jury is still out on this.
Although it makes sense to minimise your exposure to chemicals, the research is mixed in terms of organic produce and ‘health benefits’.
One literature review found that organic food was not significantly higher in nutrients compared to conventional.
However, it did show that pesticide levels were 30% lower in organic foods.
There are more studies emerging that support the potential benefits of organic food.
One study found that eating 80% or more organic food for just one week reduced pesticide levels by nearly 90% compared to conventional.
That’s a pretty impressive reduction!
If I can only afford conventional, should I skip it?
Not at all. If you can’t afford organic produce, you should still eat your fruit and veggies! They still contain many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are essential for wellbeing.
To minimise potential health issues, you might want to opt to eat more of the fruit and vegetables that are lowest in pesticides.
These are based on US levels, but they are a good starting point if you’re not sure which fruit and veg are likely to be higher in pesticides.
Remember too, if you have any questions about Super Cubes, there are many ways to get in touch.
Either by social media or our contact page are good places to start.