Differences between Organics and Conventionally Grown Foods













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How can you best understand the differences between organic and non-organic (conventional) foods?

We need to begin by defining the structures of organic and conventionally grown food-growing. Understanding the differences between the two methods can be very helpful.

Organic Farming:

Organic farming encompasses an approach that everything unnatural should be avoided when growing food for human or animal consumption. This includes:

  • Use of natural pesticides instead of chemical pesticides

  • Use of natural fertilizers (such as manure) rather than chemical fertilizers

  • Promotion of multiple crop systems (either by planting cover crops – growing two different crops at the same time – or by using the same field for different subsequent crops). Using different crops replenishes the nutrients in the soil.

Conventional Farming:

Conventional (CV) Farming uses scientific and technological developments to grow food for human or animal consumption. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Use of chemical fertilizers

  • Use of chemical pesticides

  • Use of chemical weed killers

  • Use of genetically modified organisms which can deliver consistent crops

  • Production of only one or two crops in the same field per growing season or year (generally speaking)


So some of the advantages of organic farming are:

  • Organic food is not produced with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. This means these chemicals are not in the soil or in the produce that they are growing (other than the low levels of chemicals that may be found in the water). That means that you will not be ingesting pesticides and chemicals which can build up in your body. Studies have shown that some levels of chemicals contribute to such diseases as cancer and diabetes.

  • The local organic farmer is probably your neighbor. Organic foods do not have waxes or other preservatives in or on them. Their shelf life (the time they stay “good” in the store) is not as long as conventionally produced foods. The time frame from the farmer to the store, and from the store to you, is much tighter. That means the foods are fresher, usually brought in by farmers who may live only a few blocks or miles away.

The advantages to use organics is a separate topic in itself. Check out our top reasons to purchase organic foods.

HOWEVER, here’s a disclaimer. According to studies:

“The risk from pesticide residue [in food], if any, is minuscule, is not worth worrying about, and does not warrant paying higher prices.”
– Manfred Kroger, Professor of Food Science at Pennsylvania State University

Have you a proponent of Organics?
How has it paid off for you?

We want to hear about how you have incorporated organics into your family meals. What tips worked for you? Are you growing your own?

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