"But the idea that organic foods are healthier isn't even the largest myth out there. That title belongs to the widely held belief that organic farming does not use pesticides. A 2010 poll found that 69% of consumers believe that to be true. Among those who regularly purchase organic food, the notion is even more prevalent. A survey from the Soil Association found that as many as 95% of organic consumers in the UK buy organic to "avoid pesticides."Biggest myths
In fact, organic farmers do use pesticides. The only difference is that they're "natural" instead of "synthetic." At face value, the labels make it sound like the products they describe are worlds apart, but they aren't. A pesticide, whether it's natural or not, is a chemical with the purpose of killing insects (or warding off animals, or destroying weeds, or mitigating any other kind of pest, as our watchful commenters have correctly pointed out). Sadly, however, "natural" pesticides aren't as effective, so organic farmers actually end up using more of them!*
Moreover, we actually know less about the effects of "natural" pesticides. Conventional "synthetic" pesticides are highly regulated and have been for some time. We know that any remaining pesticide residues on both conventional and organic produce aren't harmful to consumers. But, writes agricultural technologist Steve Savage, "we still have no real data about the most likely pesticide residues that occur on organic crops and we are unlikely to get any.""
Friday, May 29, 2015
Research shows food labeled organic isn't more nutritious but does it use less pesticide?