If you are a person interested in your health, you have ever come across the qualifiers of eco and bio or organic food.
An aura of health surrounds these types of products and it seems that if you put them next to any food, it becomes healthy as if by magic.
What Are Organic Products?
A food with the label “ecological” is nothing more than an agricultural or agro-industrial product that is produced under a set of procedures and protocols called “ecological”, which generally avoid or minimize the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers or herbicides. It is done.
Therefore, when someone tells you, “this apple is organic”, it means that that apple has been produced using a very specific and regulated “organic” methodology, which allows such a label.
In this way, organic food producers are required by regulations to use certain authorized chemical products, to fertilize with compost and to use less aggressive methods for the environment.
- Also generally displaced from the eco category are genetically modified (or transgenic) foods that better resist pests and improve crop production.
- Another key rule within organic farming is to respect natural cycles without artificially altering them, which, at least from a theoretical point of view, contributes to a greater richness in micronutrients of the products obtained.
- Another benefit proposed by lovers of ecology is the reduction in the levels of pollution generated during production, achieving a more sustainable use of resources and less environmental impact.
Now let’s move on to review some of the benefits of organic food and produce in more detail.
What Are Eco Food?
The main benefit and claim of eco products is their greater nutritional value.
It is known to all that micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in fruits and vegetables have drastically decreased in recent decades.
For example, eating an orange in 1950 is very different from doing it in 2021, and its vitamin C content is much lower.
Another example far from the plant world is the content of omega 3 fatty acids, essential for many biological processes, much higher in those meats and dairy products produced using an ecological methodology.
One more reason why many people have switched to “grass” meat and organic farming.
Another of the frequently mentioned benefits (and the one that perhaps we think is more justified) is respecting and improving animal welfare, something directly related to the quality of the product, as in the case of eggs or meat.
What Are Bio Foods?
Bio food or product is nothing more than a product from organic farming. If you were confused, you shouldn’t be anymore.
Things change slightly in other countries, where an organic food normally refers to a food not genetically altered or with more specific connotations, regardless of whether or not pesticides have been used for its cultivation, that is, it has been produced with an ecological methodology..
That is why you will have seen the Non GMO or NGMO label on many products. It stands for “Non Genetically Modified Organism” and is becoming more widespread.
What Is Organic Food?
In a very similar way, if we look for the definition of organic foods, they are defined as those foods in which substances such as pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers are not used in their production process.
Likewise, it is rejected :
- The use of sewage sediments as fertilizers.
- The genetic engineering to improve resistance to pests and improve crop yields and antibiotics or other drugs to livestock.
Doesn’t that sound similar to the definition of organic and eco food?
But Are Products Labeled Organic Healthier?
Yes, there are small differences in the nutrient content, but justifiable by biological differences between products (not all oranges have the same mg of Vitamin C) or in the different production methods.
So Why Do People Insist on Eating More Organic Products?
Well, there are many reasons and most attend to a good nutritional marketing that has generated the unconscious association in the population of eco / bio / organic product with healthy.
This, together with the existing chemophobia in a growing number of people and the greater concern in general of the population for their health mean that there are increasingly more buoyant supermarket aisles of eco and bio food.
What Is the Difference Between Them?
We once again emphasize the key concept of the post: the three terms, organic, biological and ecological, refer to production practices that respect certain “ecological” norms and methodologies.
The most prominent being respecting the biological cycles of natural resources and not using chemicals such as synthetic fertilizers or herbicides.
So, should we eat all eco and bio or organic foods? Well the answer is very personal.
You may have chosen to include these types of foods to reduce “chemicals” in your diet, or to be more environmentally friendly and reduce your CO2 footprint.
In any case, there is nothing wrong with opting for eco products as long as your wallet can afford it (and it is probably beneficial to do so, all said).
Of course, we found many inconsistencies in the arguments used in favor of these products:
- From “eco” food grown more than 150 km from the place of sale or wrapped in layers and layers of plastic;
- Even studies that guarantee that the carbon footprint is very similar to traditional products.
On the other hand, the scientific studies done in this regard do not conclude that they are better for health or that they are positioned above traditional foods.
And there is another danger with “nutritional labels”, which also splashes on others labeled “gluten-free” or “lactose-free.”