Generally, whenever you try to bring up the organic vs. conventional argument, people will put their fingers in their ears and go “La la la la la la! I’m not listening!” or “I don’t really pay attention to that kind of stuff” or spout something about you having to eat organic or else you’re a cultist pet sacrificer or something.
However, have any of you objectively thought long and hard about it? Is organic food really necessary?
My opinion is both yes and no.
Yes, because in one of my past posts; I have pointed out evidence that it can uncover techniques for more eco-friendly farming practices. These are practices that all farms could be using and that everyone could benefit from. Would we have discovered them without organic farming? Eventually. When people are willing to pay more for their produce, I’m guessing that gives the producer a lot more leeway to being careful about the growing methods they use, and I like that.
With that, though, comes the almost religious-like transcendence of making a good decision. Some people seem to get a ‘spiritual high’ from it. That can be a good thing in its own right, except when said people proceed to nay-say anyone who does otherwise; calling them “shills” and “sheeple” and that they’re poisoning their children if God forbid, they ever let a conventional morsel pass their or their family’s lips. Some people think that by eating organic, they have become a deity. Others are more cool about it and have their favourite organic granola bar but don’t frou-frou those who still eat Kraft Dinner from the pot, because that’s their choice, and they understand that. However, this argument is not solely about people being judgmental about food, so let’s try and set that one aside for now.
Interestingly enough, there may in fact be more nutrients in organic food. Other studies say it’s not enough to make a difference in blood plasma. One study says it may have lower levels of organophosphorus pesticides, but then again, I don’t tend to trust studies that come from ‘3 days of parents keeping a food diary’, because that doesn’t seem like an isolated scientific experiment to me. People can say or write just about anything in a loosely controlled study. Still, it is intriguing nonetheless.
Organic crops may have up to 34% less yields than conventional. Not a good thing when the world is currently increasing in population by about 80 million people per year. Thankfully, population growth is on the decline, which may give us time to think about how we can fix that.
Organic milk may have a more favourable fatty acid content, and organic pork may have more fat marbling, a lower pH, and redder meat. These studies also point out that there are numerous factors to consider when it comes to different nutritional content of animal products, so the results may not always be the same. Some of these factors can be implemented by conventional farming as well, such as removing synthetic amino acids from feed.
When it comes to taste of organic vs. conventional, there are many similarities (I love the blog I just linked, btw!). Many people may not even be able to tell the difference (and I like how some people get so angry about it that they feel they need a justification; like in the video about the guy rambling about ‘moral choices’, and some in the comments accusing them of being paid actors).
So do organic foods have benefits? Possibly.
Are those benefits worth a mean cost of 68% more than conventional produce?
That decision is up to you.