Organic Vs. Conventional Food: Is There Really a Difference?

The debate around organic versus conventionally grown food rages hotly. Scientists on both sides have scientific evidence to support their hypotheses. Activists have their opinions.

Farmers have preferences and of course, the powerful pesticide and fertilizer companies have their positions.

What is the truth? Here we’ll examine different arguments. You will be shocked at what pesticides are linked to. And you may be depressed by numbers four and five.


Pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers and other chemical growth enhancers are the biggest concerns for most organic advocates. Pesticides have been linked to cognitive development issues like autism and ADHD.

Some fertilizers are made from residuals of waste water treatment facilities and these test positive for danger heavy metals like silver, nickel, selenium, thallium and vanadium. Since plants absorb these along with nitrogen, you may get a decent mount of heavy metals deposited in your body, causing health issues.

Weight and Health

People who eat organic food tend to be healthier than people who eat more conventional food. The exact link is not known. Possibly, people who eat organic food are more health conscious or possibly conventional food is full of chemical additives that affect health.

Some additives are known carcinogenic and are banned by many other countries. Studies show that people who eat conventional food have a greater BMI increase over time.

GMO Concerns

Organic advocates are concerned about genetically modified organisms (GMO) and food safety. In GMOs, scientists insert DNA into plants to make them more disease-, pest-, drought-, and flood-resistant.

GMO advocates claim that all crops are genetically modified, so GMOs are not harmful. The difference is that genetic modification comes from selective breeding, not introduced from bacteria or other plant species.

Despite trials, long term effects of eating GMOS are not known.

Environmental Health

Organic doesn’t use chemicals; conventional does. Therefore, organic is better for the environment, or so advocates claim. Yes and no. Organic crops still use organic pesticides that are not as resulted as synthetic pesticides. Organic pesticide use is not as regulated as conventional pesticides.

However, researchers found that switching children from a conventionally grown produce to organically grown produce for 5 days caused organophosphate levels in their bodies to drop significantly.

Water Quality

Another environmental concern is water use. Organic farms produce up to 62% less than conventional farms, but water usage doesn’t decrease.  In addition, fertilizer runoff from both organic and conventional farm scan affect water quality and kill water wildlife.

If you are choosing organic for strictly environmental concerns, you may want to do more research.


The basic answer is yes, there is a difference between organic and conventional food. There is evidence that conventional farming practices are harming us. There is evidence that both organic and conventional farming are harming the environment.

Unfortunately, the FDA is not always the most reliable source of information because it works hand in hand with the conventional food manufacturers to quickly approve additives that may later be discovered the have long term health concerns.

The best solution is to shop carefully. Purchase some organic foods and some conventional organic food. Choosing the healthies foods is more important so make the decision that is best for your wallet and your family.