Organic Foods FAQs
Answers to Questions We Frequently Hear About Organic Food
What is OrganicEating.com?
Is organic food REALLY better?
If you’re asking if organic food is more nutritious, the answer is yes! If you’re asking if organic food is better because it has a lot less pesticide residue than conventionally grown crops, the answer is yes! (Organically grown produce tends to have one-third less pesticide residue). If you’re wondering if organic food tastes better, it definitely does.
But if you’re wondering if organic food is better as in “more affordable,” the answer is no: organic food is more expensive, mostly because the cost of growing it (produce) or raising it (livestock) is higher because growing/raising organic food is harder (labor input versus labor output) and because most organic farms are small and therefore can’t achieve the economy of scale so many large farms can.
When is organic NOT better?
While organic foods aren’t grown with synthetic herbicides and pesticides, they often do produce natural toxins themselves to fight against pests. Organic crops aren’t farmed with pesticides, and therefore have to deal with more weeds and pests than conventionally grown crops, meaning they may produce even more natural toxins. Some natural toxins, such as solanine (a substance made by potatoes as they turn green), can make one ill if ingested.
Many organic farmers also use manure for fertilizer, raising some concerns about raising the risk of contamination of such microbes as E. coli.
However, agricultural standards for growing organic crops don’t allow farmers to use raw manure within a specific frame between harvesting their crops and when humans consume it. What’s more, most contamination takes place after the food has left an organic farm (during off-site handling or processing), just as when conventional food is likely to be contaminated. (No matter how the produce you eat is grown, it’s always best to rinse it before eating it.)
Why are organic fruits and vegetables “uglier” than non-organic produce?
Organic produce may have “odd” shapes compared to their conventionally grown counterparts. They may be smaller. Oranges may not be “as orange,” and bananas may not be as perfectly yellow (and banana-shaped) as you’re used to.
This is due to the fact that they haven’t been genetically modified to look better and they haven’t been treated with synthetic pesticides. They also aren’t covered with wax (to make them shine) or treated with preservatives.
In other words, organic fruits and vegetables tend to look much more as nature intended them to.
What does it mean to be "organic?"
What is organic food?
What are organic products?
Why are organic products so popular?
It is no secret the world population is growing exponentially. To this extent, the demand for food grows in tandem. Most of the food produced for consumers has been altered from a natural state through fertilization and genetics, in order to grow food faster and in larger amounts. These growing methods directly affect all of us as we consume these products.
Organic products are becoming popular because as people educate themselves they realize the value of quality, naturally grown foods and products.
How fast is the organic industry growing?
Where can I find organic food?
We recommend doing a local search for “organic farms” or “organic food” in your favorite search engine. Because we are unable to pinpoint where you live it makes it difficult to direct you to a specific farm or store. Brick and mortar stores such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods carry organic products.
Organic food is becoming increasingly mainstream and many traditional grocery stores (even Walmart) now offer organically grown food.