The context of our diets within food and agriculture systems and the global challenges compel us to address certain issues. Industrial food systems have proven successful in making more food available at a low price. Yet, notwithstanding that some progress has been recently observed, the number of malnourished and hungry people in the world remains unacceptably high .

Pesticides, herbicides, and genetic modification may have the potential to disrupt the delicate balance within our digestive system. There are some studies which suggest links between the health of our intestinal microflora with various cancers, autoimmune conditions and even dementia. Research into causes is always controversial and risks to consumers may not be considered or disclosed when massive profits are at stake. It is safe to say that our gut health affects everything from our mood to our weight, so it pays to take care of it. According to the Soil Association, agriculture is responsible for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

They have also stated that if half of the farms in the EU followed organic principles by 2030, Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by over a quarter and much more carbon would be stored in the soil. The EU is also working with farmers to make it easier for them to convert to organic practices. This will hopefully ensure that organic produce becomes more widely available and affordable. Given the increasing awareness of the environmental impact of food, more and more people are paying close attention to where their food comes from, how it’s cultivated and how it makes its way onto our plates.

Is Organic Food Better For The Environment?

With contributions from experts in a broad range of related disciplines, this book is an essential resource for researchers and students in human health and nutrition, environmental science, agriculture and organic farming. In the environmentally friendly food market, brand equity significantly shapes the perceived quality and consumer purchase behavior. Environmentally friendly food is an appealing suggestion in a specific market where consumers are health aware and plan to eat safe, wholesome, and organic goods. Note that encouraging consumer buying behavior of organic foods is essential to environmental sustainability. Food safety issues, health awareness, and media promotion of nutrition information are pivotal in the configuration of attitude concerning non-chemical products, while consumers’ environmental sensitivity and meal taste are irrelevant in predicting their attitude.

  • Last year, it was reported that organic food and drink sales were rising at double the rate of non-organic produce.
  • According to the latest statistics from the Soil Association, the entire organic market, including food, clothing, cosmetics and other products, increased to £2.79billion last year, a rise of 12.6% on 2019.
  • People are sometimes also concerned about the antibiotics, growth hormones and medication in the meat from animals reared on conventional farms.
  • There is a growing body of evidence showing that consumers’ values shape their attitude and intention to eat additive-free food .

In most studies freshly picked vegetables consistently contain the greatest amount of vitamin C However, vitamin C begins to degrade immediately after harvest and will degrade steadily during prolonged storage . But that loss of nutritional content because of storage affects organic food just as much as any other. It could also be argued that the environmental and social benefits related to organic production methods may have a positive impact on human health in a wider sense. A systematic review from 2012 compared the safety of organic versus conventional food type.7 This identified no differences in terms of the risk of allergy or campylobacter infections between those who consumed organic or conventional food. Percival points to a study by a French think tank which claims that the whole of Europe could adopt organic practices and still feed the growing population.

Mini Review Article

Vitamin C is by far the least stable nutrient during processing and storage partly because it is highly sensitive to oxidation. So the retention of vitamin C is often used as an estimate for the overall nutrient retention of food products. In this test he found no significant difference between conventional and organic produce.

Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants and the authors also noted that many of these antioxidants have been linked to a reduction in chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, dementia and cancer. One of the reasons that organic produce is higher in polyphenols is due to the quality of the soil they have been grown in. It has also been proposed that the organic produce is more nutrient dense because the lack of pesticides means the plants have to produce more polyphenols to naturally protect themselves from pests. One of the key findings was that organic meat and milk provided 50% more omega 3.