Are organic foods better for your health?
Organic food: what are we talking about?
Eating organic food is good for your health, you are convinced of that! But what do scientists think? What are the real benefits of organic food? MEPs posed the question to the experts on November 18, 2015. This is what they answered.
The goal of organic farming is to produce food while preserving environmental resources, biodiversity, and animal health. To do this, it excludes the use of synthetic chemicals and GMOs and limits the use of inputs. Before the development of synthetic fertilizers and intensive farming, virtually all agricultural production around the world was organic!
For Professor Johannes Kall, one of the experts assembled by the European Parliament, eating organic means is above all being part of a "sustainable diet". The idea of sustainability in food and agriculture was published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome in 2014 1 .
To obtain this "high quality" food, farmers and breeders in the European Union (EU) are subject to strict standards, framed in Regulations (834/2007 and 889/2008) 2 .
If 95% of the final product meets these criteria, the organic food can carry the EU Organic Agriculture logo 3 .
In response to consumer concerns
More and more of us are turning to organic products, despite their high cost. This interest increases a little with every food scandal, every time our health is put on the spot or doubts about the future of the planet attack us 4 .
Can our food be a "safe haven" for our food? Studies show that consumers associate the organic label with positive health effects5. Organic fruits and vegetables are also credited with better flavour, 'purity' (whole or practically no additives) and special cleanliness (no pesticides and other contaminants) 6 .
So, organic farming has the wind in its sails. It is currently one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors. Between 2005 and 2011, the total area of land used for organic farming increased from 3.6% to 5.5% of the total agricultural area in the 27 member states of the European Union. Globally, only 1% of the land is grown organically.