Organic versus Inorganic: Health, Safety and Economics

Academic Paper, 2020

7 Pages


ORGANIC Vs INORGANIC: Health, Safety and Economics

Food is an essential part of our lives. The food we consume contributes to several important nutrients that are significant for body growth and healthy life. Nowadays, the food obtained from agricultural practices is either organic food or inorganic food which is also known as conventional food. These two types of food have been debatable topics in terms of health for a long time. Another huge difference between organic and inorganic food(conventional) is concerning the economy. In the market, there is a significant difference in prices between these two types of foods. One concern is concerning consumer health and safety.

Health professionals and shoppers have long wrangled if organic food is more healthy than conventional foods (Watson,2012). Organic and inorganic food is distinguished with regard to health safety and economics. As many diseases are related to our diet, today, many people are concerned with what they consume. Experiments done on animals reveal that diet composed of both organic and inorganic has a different effect on the body of the animal. (Mie et al.,2017). The diet of people is changing as peoples’ awareness is growing, and they believe that organic foods are both harmless and nutrients abundant (Matt et al.,2011). People might prefer to purchase organic to inorganic believing that organic foods are healthy comparing to non-organic foods, even though scientists found that organic foods are preferable to inorganic in terms of health, with regard to nutrition both types of food have little difference (Watson, 2012). Human health is affected by several elements such as lifestyle and environment, which makes it a difficult single effect of consumption of organic foods on the health of an individual, thus there is no clear conclusion on its effect on health (Matt et al., 2011. Another issue related to food and health is environmental safety. Halting of diversity, abrasion of soil and water contamination are the consequences of conventional farming owing to the usage of chemicals, which is why some scientists slam conventional farming (Varansi, 2019). On the other hand, some argue that organic farming requires huge land, though the lower yield is attained in comparison with the land it needs (Varansi,2019).

On average, yearly agriculture consumes around 2.5 million tons of pesticides (Fenner et al.,2013, as cited in Gomiero, 2018). Several chemical additives such as colors are part of conventional food, while organic foods consist of natural additives (Matt et al., 2011). Exposure to pesticide residues is one of the main issues raised when discussing about organic and conventional foods. The way organic and inorganic foods are produced is different. In the farming practice, avoiding pests in conventional is attained through the showering of pesticides, while in the case of organic the procedure is different, natural or biological method of avoidance of pests is practiced (It’s Easy Being Green: Organic vs conventional foods- The Gloves are off,2008). These differences between organic and conventional foods can have a significant impact on human health. “Pesticides are the only group of synthetic compounds which are not found naturally in the environment (i.e., xenobiotics); they are introduced into biocenosis as a result of a deliberate decision made by man” (Matt et al., 2011, para 39). According to EFSA (as cited in Matt et al., 2011), MAXIMUM RESIDUE LEVEL of 0.9% by weight was found in organic vegetables and fruits while MAXIMUM RESIDUE LEVEL of 3.7% by weight was found in inorganic food, based on a study conducted in Europe in 2008. Even though some pesticides are used in organic foods, these pesticides are found to be less harmful and eco- friendly (Faidon, Magkos & Antonis, 2003). Pesticides are used when producing inorganic foods to yield more, protect from plant disease. There is a massive frame of evidence on the relationship between pesticide exposure and the increased pace of long-lasting diseases and disorders ( Greger, 2017). Due to the usage of several pesticides, inorganic foods are prone to pesticide residues. Researches have shown that increased level of OP (Organophosphate) insecticides was found in children’s urine for those who consume inorganic food when compared to those consuming organic food (Health Risks of Pesticides in Food,2013).

Apart from pesticide residues, there are other issues related to consumer safety when we are dealing with organic and conventional food. Microbiological contamination is one issue. Organic foods are produced by organic farming, which uses biological or natural fertilizers such as animal manure that might elevate microbiological pollution (Kuan et al.,2017). Organic farming has a great risk of contamination owing to the use of animal manure which might have pathogens (Maffei et al., 2016).

Nowadays, the demand for organic food has grown globally when comparing to inorganic foods. Thus, the resulting rise in the price of organic food and a rise in the sale of organic food in the market. As a great number of consumers familiar with organic foods, these foods are found almost in every supermarket in contrast to what used to happen in the past where organic foods were not found in every shop (Gomiero, 2018). Today, consumers consider buying organic foods healthy, which is why an increase of 39% sales was observed in flavored teas, cereals and biscuits within 4 years (Early, 2017). In July 2017, 4% of selling growth of supermarkets was observed in organic food when 1.4 % growth was seen in the sales of inorganic foods (Early, 2017). Since there is a high demand for organic foods in the market the prices of organic foods are high comparing to inorganic foods. One reason for this increased price could be due to the low production of organic foods, organic producers produce in small lands thus the super marketers are forced to deal with plenty of organic producers (Steingraber, n.d). However, according to Steingraber (n.d.), the reason behind the high prices of organic foods is the effort and manpower it requires and the avoidance of chemicals during production. The situation of the price is the same everywhere, also in the UAE. In Dubai, organic foods can cost 1.5 times of inorganic foods (Nayeem, 2014). Indeed, the consumption of organic foods is increasing the profit of selling organic foods is also increasing.


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Organic versus Inorganic: Health, Safety and Economics
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organic, inorganic, health, safety, economics
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Haben Tekeste (Author), 2020, Organic versus Inorganic: Health, Safety and Economics, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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