Organic food is one of the most widely consumed commodities, accounting for almost two-thirds of all global imports, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
It’s also one of only a handful of commodities with a proven track record of safety, and it has long been one of its most popular, earning a record 5.7% share of the food and beverage market in 2013, up from 3.9% in 2014.
What’s in a name?
“Organic food is the name we give to the food that’s grown from natural or conventional methods,” said Julia Lomas, a senior researcher at the University of Bristol.
“This means that the food is grown from the soil, is organic and free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers, which make it much more sustainable.”
That’s because organic farming requires no pesticides, fertilisers or chemical fertilisers.
“It’s actually quite a simple thing to grow food that has the lowest amount of pesticides and chemicals that are found in the food supply,” said Lomas.
But the vast majority of organic foods are not organic.
“A lot of people think that organic is better because it’s more sustainable,” said Jennifer Langer, a co-founder of Food Lab, a UK-based organisation that promotes sustainable food.
“We think that this is a marketing ploy to convince people that organic food is better.
The idea that it’s cheaper is just not true.”
What’s not organic?
“Some organic food does not come from the same farm as conventional food,” said Linda Smeets, a spokesperson for the National Organic Standards Board.
“The difference is that we don’t use preservatives and we don