Bio vs. Organic. What’s the Difference?

Bio and Organic are labels used primarily in the EU. Bio and organic are powerful labels for people who want to be healthier and avoid pesticide residue.

In the US, you may see these labels on imported foods and be confused. What is the difference? You might be surprised! In fact, by the time you get to number three, you might be shocked!

You’ll defiantly have a better idea of where you want to spend your hard-earned money as you shop your grocery store’s imported aisle or browse international foods online.

Organic is…

Organic food is produced in a traditional manner without using chemical products or genetic modification through inserting gene sequences.  Choosing organic food shows a respect for nature and the environment.

Organic food, including meat, doesn’t use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, and tries to raise animals in a more humane and normal manner.

Organic food has known health benefits, especially for children, and people who choose organic food tend to be healthier.

Bio is…

The term bio is used to designate food grown within the European Union that demonstrates care for the environment, natural genetic processes, a natural reproductive strategy, and care for biodiversity.

Bio has a very powerful niche, in the world of babies, and parents prefer to purchase bio for their infants. Bio is generally more expensive than conventional and organic but is considered to be worth the cost.

When purchasing bio food, be aware that French organic products are labeled as Bio.

So the Difference is…

The difference between bio and organic is on the consumer level. Neither designation can be treated chemically or be a GMO (genetically modified organism). Both are considered to show greater respect for the natural world.

Bio is perceived to be even more natural than organic, to contain more nutrients, and therefore to be healthier. Organic is supposed to be more environmentally friendly and more respective of nature.

Is there a difference? Maybe in your wallet because you will pay more for a BIO designation.

So Both are Pesticide Free?

The answer to whether or not these are “cleaner” than conventional is…not exactly. Organic can still use organic pesticides and fertilizers. There is no indication that these are any safer than synthetic products. In fact, in the US, organic pesticide use is not monitored.

However, studies show that children only eating organic produce show markedly decreased levels of organophosphates in their bodies in just five days. Since organophosphates are linked to brain and cognitive issues in children, organic or bio might be a far safer alternative.

Is Either More Nutritious?

People claim that organic and bio taste better and are more nutritious. That is not necessarily true. Since taste is on the tongue of the taster, we’ll ignore that one. If you think organic tastes better, go for it. Eating more produce is beneficial for you no matter how you arrive there.

No studies have shown that organic or bio produce has more nutrients than conventionally grown produce. Meat and dairy are the exception. Organic has more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat than conventional.


Still confused about the difference between organic and bio? So are we. On the surface, they appear to be the same thing. The difference is in the mind of the consumer.

If you are spending money to make a statement, buying bio may be more of a statement than buying mere organic. If you are eating for health reasons, organic is definitely the way to go.

Conventional will almost always be less expensive than organic and organic less expensive than bio labeled food. At any rate, if you are shopping the imported section of your supermarket or ordering online, now you know why you are paying more for the bio label!