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Buying and eating organic food is one of the newest trends out there. People buy organic because it's better for their children since it doesn't have pesticides or preservatives; they buy organic because it helps support local farmers and local business, boosting the local economy and helping out their fellow man; people buy organic because organic it's better for the environment.

There are an endless number of reasons why people decide to start buying more organic products or why they decide to switch to solely organic foods and products. Sadly, though, a lot of those reasons are far from the truth. So how much do you really know about the organic food game? We're betting less than you think.

True?   or   False?

    • A liter of organic milk requires 80 per cent more land than conventional milk to produce, has 20 per cent greater global warming potential, releases 60 per cent more nutrients to water sources, and contributes 70 per cent more to acid rain.

      A kilo of organic beef releases 12 per cent more GHGs, causes twice as much nutrient pollution and more acid rain. (1).

True?   or   False?

    • Even though organic milk has more omega3, CLA, vitamins and antioxidants than non organic milk. Simillarly, organic tomatoes have more antioxidants than non organic tomatoes. (2).

      The USDA and the FDA clearly state that conventional food is as healthy as organic food. Scientific research has also not been able to prove that organic food is healthier than conventional food. The exceptions are organic milk and organic tomatoes.(2).

      Large studies in Holland, Denmark and Austria found the food-poisoning bacterium Campylobacter in 100 per cent of organic chicken flocks but only a third of conventional flocks; equal rates of contamination with Salmonella (despite many organic flocks being vaccinated against it); and 72 per cent of organic chickens infected with parasites.

True?   or   False?

    • In 2009, 54 percent of total organic food sales were handled through mainstream grocers, club stores and retailers. Meanwhile, natural and specialty retailers were runners-up, with 40 percent of sales. Direct sales through farmers markets, co-ops, community-supported agriculture (CSAs), and the Internet, as well as exports, represented the remaining 6 percent. (3)

True?   or   False?

    • Organic food production does not involve usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. However, bio pesticides and bio fertilizers can be used for organic food production. Residues of these bio pesticides and bio fertilizers may be present in the organic food.(2)

      Actually, organic farmers also use pesticides. The difference is that "organic" pesticides are so dangerous that they have been "grandfathered" with current regulations and do not have to pass stringent modern safety tests.

      For example, organic farmers can treat fungal diseases with copper solutions. Unlike modern, biodegradable, pesticides copper stays toxic in the soil forever. (1)

True?   or   False?

    • Organic farmers do not routinely treat animals with antibiotics or worming medicines. As a result, organic animals suffer more diseases. In 2006, an Austrian and Dutch study found that a quarter of organic pigs had pneumonia. Against 4 per cent of conventionally raised pigs; their piglets died twice as often.

      Disease is the major reason why organic animals are only half the weight of conventionally reared animals, so organic farming is not necessarily a boon to animal welfare. (1)


1. The Independent "The great organic myths: Why organic foods are an indulgence the world can't afford"

2. Organic Facts "Organic Food FAQs"

3. Organic Trade Association "Organic Food Facts"