The American “National Organic Program” (NOP) sets the standardsfor certifying food as organic. Organic food is either labeled as100% organic or simply organic (Mayo Clinic 1). In order forproducts to be certified as 100% organic, they ought to comprise ofpurely organically manufactured ingredients, which are properlyidentified as well as processing aids, exclusive of salt and water.No extra additives or ingredients are allowed. Food labeled as simplyorganic should comprise of at minimum 95% ingredients that areproduced organically. The residual ingredients should containnon-agricultural substances (The Public Health and SafetyOrganization 1). In addition, food is certified as organic whenit is “produced without excluded methods like genetic engineering,ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge (United States Department ofAgriculture 1).” The food must be produced according to thenational list of permitted and restricted substances and it must besupervised by a certifying agent from NOP (Riddle 1).
Is Organic Healthier than Non-Organic
Research indicates that organic food is healthier than non-organic.According to Lippert (1), organic products comprise of lesserpesticides as well as more nutrients. The author explains that somefoods like fruits and vegetables absorb pesticides during theirproduction in the process leaving trace residues. These residues aremore likely to be absorbed in non-organic food than organic becausepesticides are rarely used in the latter. Carrington and Arnett (1)assert that organic food contains more antioxidant compounds that areassociated with better health as compared to regular food.Antioxidants are important as they are associated with reduced perilof chronic illnesses that include cardiovascular illnesses, specificcancers and neurodegenerative illnesses (Carrington and Arnett 1).Also, organic products have “lower levels of toxic metals andpesticides, according to the most comprehensive scientific analysisto date (Carrington and Arnett 1).” These findings are supported byNewcastle University scientists who conducted a study on theadvantages of organics. The scientists concluded that organics havelow pesticide residue, low concentrates of hazardous metal cadmiumand more antioxidants concentrations than non-organic (Haskins 1).
In regard to nutrients, organic products have almost 40% morenutrients’ concentration, which includes zinc, vitamin C, and iron,compared to conventional foods. In a study comparing the nutrientlevel of organic and non-organic foods, Asami, Hong, Barrett andMitchell (1237) concluded that berries and corn grown organically had58% higher levels of polyphenols and 52% more vitamin C than foodgrown conventionally. The reason why organics have more nutrients isbecause “with organic methods the nitrogen present in compostedsoil is released slowly and therefore plants grow at a normal rate,with their nutrients in balance (Lippert 1).” Contrary, withnon-organic methods fertilizers are used to speed up the growth offood products, which results in a minimum allocation of energy fornutrients development.
Is Organic Food More Expensive
Organic food is more costly than non-organic. In a study conductedon people who consume organic products, 32.9% acknowledge that thefoods are more costly than regular ones, “31.8 declare they aresimply expensive and 30.1% manifested organics as more expensive(Baourakis 269).” Although consumers are willing to consume organicfoods, many are less likely to buy organics due to their high pricesas indicated by consumer studies (Consumer Reports 1). Thestudies also reveal that organics are 47% more costly thannon-organics (Consumer Reports 1).
Asami, Danny K., Hong, Yun-Jeong., Barrett, Diane M and Mitchell,Alyson E. Comparison of the Total Phenolic and Ascorbic Acid Contentof Freeze-Dried and Air-Dried Marionberry, Strawberry and Corn GrownUsing Conventional, Organic and Sustainable Agricultural Practices.Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51 (2003):1237-1241.
Baourakis, George. Marketing Trends for Organic Food in the 21stCentury. New Jersey, World Scientific, 2004.
Carrington, Damian and Arnett, George. Clear Differences betweenOrganic and Non-Organic Foods, Study Finds. The Guardian, 11Jul. 2014. Web. 11 June 2016.http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/11/organic-food-more-antioxidants-study
Consumer Reports. The Cost of Organic Food, 19 Mar. 2015. Web.11 June 2016.http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/03/cost-of-organic-food/index.htm
Haskins, Julia. Organic Foods generally have more Antioxidants, LessCadmium, and Less Pesticide Residue than Conventionally GrownProducts. Healthline, 14 Jul. 2014. Web. 11 June 2016.http://www.healthline.com/health-news/organic-foods-healthier-than-nonorganic-071414#1
Lippert, Marissa. Organic or Not? Is Organic Produce Healthier thanConventional? Eating Well, 2009. Web. 11 June 2016.http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/organic_or_not_is_organic_produce_healthier_than_conventional
Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and Healthy Eating: Organic Foods AreThey Safer? More Nutritious? 2016. Web. 11 June 2016.http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880
Riddle, Jim. An Introduction to Organic Certification Requirements.Extension, 16 Jul. 2013. Web. 11 June 2016.http://articles.extension.org/pages/18735/an-introduction-to-organic-certification-requirements
The Public Health and Safety Organization. Organic LabelingRequirements, 2016. Web. 11 June 2016.http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/green-living/organic-certification/organic-labeling-requirements
United States Department of Agriculture. Labeling OrganicProducts, Oct. 2012. Web. 11 June2016.https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Labeling%20Organic%20Products.pdf