Debunking the Top 10 Myths About Organic Food
Is organic food healthier? Does it protect the environment? These are questions that have been asked for years, but many people still hold onto certain myths about organic food. Last Monday, while wandering around the streets of Naples, my friends and I stumbled upon yet another organic food shop and started to discuss the possible benefits of this type of farming. When I got home, I decided to put my curiosity to rest and did some research. In this article, I will be debunking the top 10 myths about organic food.
1. Myth: Organic farming protects wildlife.
Fact: Organic farming needs lots of land which is already scarce. If the world decided to adopt organic food globally, we would have to cut down 10 million square miles of forest. The fact is that modern farming has actually saved about 15 million square miles of wildlife habitat.
2. Myth: Organic farming will save the world from hunger.
Fact: Reducing food production will only make less food available for the hungry people in this world. It costs three times as much as traditionally produced food.
3. Myth: Organic farming never uses pesticides.
Fact: Organic farmers also use pesticides and fungicides. There are 20 chemicals which are approved by the US Organic Standards and these are used all the time in organic food production.
4. Myth: Organic food is more nutritious.
Fact: Nutritional value really depends on the shelf life of vegetables. It may be organic, but if the spinach has been in the store for a week, then it has lost 50% of its valuable foliate content.
5. Myth: Organic food is safer.
Fact: Organic food is not always safer. Organic pesticides such as rotenone have been linked to possibly causing Parkinson’s disease.
6. Myth: Organic farming is always ecological.
Fact: It’s true in a few cases but statistics and labels have been manipulated to satisfy a thirst for organic ingredients.
7. Myth: Organic food is cleaner.
Fact: Organic food is still at risk of containing the deadly E.coli bacteria which is very difficult to treat with antibiotics now.
8. Myth: Organic labels are a guarantee of quality.
Fact: The organic label needs to be treated with caution as investigating the origin of organic foods is extremely difficult.
9. Myth: Organic food products are carefully inspected.
Fact: The process is often poorly carried out and there are certifiers who are much less rigorous and less expensive to hire.
10. Myth: Organic food demand is growing.
Fact: In the UK, only 1% of food sold there can be considered organic. The Soil Association in the UK is claiming that it is pursuing sustainable development. However, many claim that it is nothing more than a trading group.
In conclusion, deciding whether organic food is healthier and more environmentally friendly than traditionally produced food is a minefield. There are many myths and false claims made. While there is nothing inherently wrong with organic food, one needs to take the label with a grain of salt, or two.