Brief answer: depends what commercial interests you have or protect.
From a health perspective you have to be wise and look at the whole picture. Let's have a brief look at what organic entails and who's barking against it.
A new study finds that organic crops, on average, have higher concentrations of antioxidants:
- phenolic acids 19 (95 % CI 5, 33) %,
- flavanones 69 (95 % CI 13, 125) %,
- stilbenes 28 (95 % CI 12, 44) %,
- flavones 26 (95 % CI 3, 48) %,
- flavonols 50 (95 % CI 28, 72) % and
- anthocyanins 51 (95 % CI 17, 86) % higher,
respectively and lower concentrations of Cd and a lower incidence of pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators across regions and production seasons.
Sounds pretty common sense to me that if you use less chemicals on the plants that you grow there will be less toxic residues in your foods. And they taste better compared with the bland vegetables that are grown in an industrial way.
You can switch to organic farming if you
- Maintain the fertility and biological activity of the soil.
- Increase soil quality by multi-annual crop rotation including legumes and other green manure crops.
- Feed your organic livestock only 100 per cent organic feed that meets their needs at that stage of their development - either from your own or a neighbouring farm. Certain exceptions may apply - eg if 100 per cent organic feed is unavailable in your area, you can provide feed from an in-conversion holding. If you cannot get certain organic ingredients, you may be able to include non-organic ingredients approved for use in organic feeds.
- Feed suckling animals only with natural milk, preferably maternal.
- Use livestock manure or organic material - preferably composted from organic production - either from your own or a neighbouring farm.
- Stop the use of growth promoters, synthetic amino acids, herbicides and pesticides in your system.
- You are only permitted to use substances from an authorised list
- You must display labels showing where your organic products were farmed
- You must ensure that at least 95 per cent of the produce ingredients are organic to label a produce as ‘organic’
- You must not use genetically modified (GM) organisms or products produced from or by these in organic production
Follow the money
Yes they are more expensive because there are more costs involved by farming this way and this way of farming is not supported by subsidies. Our food system is designed to drive overproduction of commodity crops—supplying the cheap wheat, corn, soy and rapeseed that drive factory farms and corporate profits. These cheap crops are essential for manufacturing processed foods that drive chronic diseases.
Who's barking against it and why?
Prof Tom Sanders, head of the Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences Division at King's College London's School of Medicine, said: "This article is misleading because it refers to antioxidants in plants as if they were a class of essential nutrients, which they are not."
Does sugar play an essential role here?
One of the UK government’s most trusted scientists on diet, sugar and heart disease, Professor Tom Sanders, has been given £4.5 million towards his research by sugar giant Tate & Lyle.
The human requirement for added sugar is ZERO grams/day. There is no established essential requirement for carbohydrates in the scientific literature despite the fact that we are being fed 60% of our diet.
What can you do?
By purchasing sustainable foods from your local farmer or grocery store, you support the farmers who are raising food responsibly and actively encourage the growth of a more sustainable food system.
I personally go to Harringay Market and buy my raw unpasteurised milk, chicken livers and other real foods.