Does anyone else have that pang of guilt when you skip the organics aisle when you’re shopping for produce? Despite the huge push to choose organic, the differences between organic and conventional produce is not as immense as you might think.
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, a Youtube channel that wants to make science beautiful, recently made a great video outlining the similarities, differences, and myths about organic vs conventional produce. Watch the video below:
Some of the highlights of the video include:
- Nutritional Differences: research has linked organic produce to higher levels of antioxidants compared to conventional produce, due to the plant having to work a bit harder to fend off pesky insects and other pests. However, the overall content of organic and conventional produce is very similar.
- Pesticide Content: organic produce still can contain pesticides, but they must come from natural sources. Some examples would be sulfur, vegetable oils, and copper sulfate, and some are still toxic even if they come from natural sources; copper sulfate is actually more harmful to humans than conventional pesticides. That being said, all pesticides that are present are present in very small amounts as they are under strict regulation.
- Environmental Impact: no production is overly better for the environment. Organic produce production uses less energy and has less pesticide waste but uses more land. Conventional produce production has more pesticide waste and energy use but requires less land. Both have around the same carbon emissions.
Overall, what matters the most is that you are consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables over processed food. The absolute best “organic” you can buy is to eat local and to eat what is in season.
Farmer’s Market Volunteer