Is organic food really better ?

One of my latest stride toward sustainability has been eating organic fruits. Indeed, after slashing my energy and water use and traveling as much as I could by train, I guess it was the natural next step.

So when Grist publishes an article on how organic food is ” not really better for you or the planet ” I am really wondering : Am I doing something bad ? Scientific American – which published the original article – brings us data.

This question is interesting, as organic food and beverages made $26.7 billion last year alone in the United States.

Here is an extract of Grist’s article :

  • It’s not really pesticide-free. Certified organic farms have to use pesticides from natural sources, rather than man-made — but those aren’t necessarily any less dangerous or harmful. Large organic farms still spray crops with pesticides and fungicides. And they have to use more to get the same effect.
  • It’s not really better for you. Even if you’re getting your produce from a totally pesticide-free farm, that doesn’t mean it’s free of pathogens. And there’s no evidence that organic food is any more nutritious or beneficial than conventionally farmed food.
  • It’s not really better for the planet. Organic farming produces less food per acre, so it’s not an efficient use of land. And Wilcox objects to organic farming’s resistance to genetically modified organisms, which she says could help improve farming practices and mitigate world hunger.

One of the commentor, EatingEarth, clearly reflects my point of view on organic food :

The organic movement is more about a change in direction and has introduced more or the world population to the idea of producing food that can be delivered without refinery based chemical costs, patented crops or corporate contracts. OH, and by a few hundred million more individuals.

I will keep eating my organic fruits, and I will keep advocating people to do so… But, no I won’t go further.

3 thoughts on “Is organic food really better ?”

  1. I totally agree. The point in oragnic food is more about responsible ways of production than trying to get the perfect product for the consummer.

    I hope you enjoy your week in the Jura Mountains. As for me, I’m setting up my blog, which is quite a pain in the neck when dealing with some specific functions and all these “social networks” plugins. See you.

  2. Hello Olivier and thanks for your comment !

    I have been enjoying my stay here, and this despite the autumnal rain. I am going back to Paris later this evening, so tomorrow we will be able to talk via Skype.

    Congrats on your blog, it sounds promising. Good luck and enjoy this new venture ! 🙂

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