Myths and truths about BIO foods

Myths and truths about BIO foods

BIO nutrition involves the consumption of organic, natural food products. In order to be considered BIO with proper acts, the fruits and vegetables must have been grown without synthetic or pesticide fertilizers, antibiotics, radiation, genetic engineering or growth hormones.

Meat, dairy products and organic eggs are those obtained only from animals and poultry fed with organic feed and raised in living conditions similar to their natural environment, without antibiotics, hormones or other drugs, except for approved vaccines.

What are BIO foods?

These are the organic products made without the use of chemicals, without genetic interventions and in harmony with the nature and the environment. Prior to being labeled BIO, organic or organic, the products must be certified by a specialized body.

A BIO culture can only be obtained on soils that have not been treated with substances or chemical fertilizer for at least three years. This is because pesticides used to fight pests remain in the soil for several years, before being decomposed and removed.

In BIO agriculture, the use of artificial chemicals, such as fertilizers, pesticides, food additives, is prohibited - with minor exceptions. At the same time, irradiation and use of genetically modified organisms is prohibited. On the other hand, certified organic food producers can use both natural fertilizers (manure, compost), as well as special pesticides to fight pests and prevent or treat possible diseases.

Organic agriculture accounts for almost 2% of the total Romanian agricultural production. Annually, the internal market for organic products is growing by 20% per year, and exports reach some tens of millions of euros. The most demanded organic products are cereals, oilseeds and berries.

Myths and truths about organic foods

Organic foods do not contain pesticides - False

The notion of "bio" does not exclude the use of pesticides, but only the strict control of the concentration of harmful substances, found in the composition of the pesticides used. In other words, organic foods have a much lower pesticide content, but pesticide residues do exist. BIO crop certification bodies allow producers to use certain substances, whether derived from natural sources or not.

Paradoxically, the specialized studies did not find large differences between the concentration of pesticides present between organic and inorganic foods. The most likely explanation is that pesticides come out of the crop very hard. The earth needs no more or less than 10 years to completely clean itself of any trace of pesticides.

Therefore, it washes very well the vegetables and fruits that were used to consume them, whether they are organic or not. A simple way to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables is to put them in water with sodium bicarbonate. Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to one liter of water, mix well and let the fruits or vegetables soak in this solution for 15 minutes.

Organic foods break down faster - True

Without preservatives and not being irradiated, bacteria and yeasts that cause food destruction multiply more easily in the case of organic products. A BIO-certified manufacturer records losses in every crop because of this. Treating crops with organic mulch, made from newspapers or straw and fertilizing them with organic fertilizer specific to the respective products is not so ineffective when it comes to combating pests or preventing and treating plant diseases.

Organic Foods Are More Expensive - True

The process of obtaining organic foods is much more expensive compared to the classic process. The price of organic food reflects both the costs of production and certification, as well as the losses due to pests.

However, their higher price is justified to a point. In other countries, prices are similar, but in our country the price difference between a regular chicken and an organic chicken can reach up to 80 lei. In other words, organic foods end up costing up to 5 times more than traditional foods. The specialists argue that the applied techniques, the accreditation, as well as the low productivity are the main reasons that maintain the higher price of organic foods.

Organic food is dietary - False

A cake remains a cake, even if it uses organic flour, sugar and eggs. Therefore, substituting classic ingredients with organic ones does not help you lose weight. Of course, if you choose an organic apple at the expense of a bag of chips, then the difference is clear.

Organic foods taste better - Rather fake

Consumer tests have shown that most people cannot differentiate between organic and classic foods. Organic products cannot be kept on the shelf for too long because they are altered. Therefore, when buying organic leaves or vegetables, be sure that they are fresh, hence the feeling that they are tastier. What you have to remember is that the good taste is given by the freshness of the product and not by the BIO. An apple that is not BIO is as tasty as an organic one.

Another aspect is that the term "bio" has a strong psychological impact on the consumer. It associates the word BIO with the term "healthy", hence the feeling that everything is healthier.

Organic products are healthier - True

Organic foods contain less pesticides than traditional foods, hence the conclusion that they are healthier. As for nutrients, they are not destroyed by crop fertilization. The specialists are still investigating the differences between the two product categories, from the point of view of the nutrients they contain. Theoretically, pesticide-resistant varieties of vegetables and fruits are stronger and more metabolically active, so there are chances to have a higher nutrient content.

One thing is certain: organic crops are much less harmful to the planet's ecosystem, because the soil is cleaner and most treatments are also organic.

Organic vegetables can make you sick - False

Organic vegetables treated with organic fertilizers (cow droppings) have no risk of contamination, not E.coli bacteria. The specialists point out that the organic fertilizers are composted, by this process destroying any trace of pathogen.

Traditional vegetables purchased from peasants are organic - Rather false

When it comes to their own consumption, some peasants use old varieties of vegetables and fruits, treated with natural fertilizer. Those who grow various plants to sell them on the market, often resort to hormones and synthetic fertilizer. Only in this way they have the guarantee that they will get more beautiful vegetables and fruits.

The same thing happens with eggs or meat products. Eggs from the yard, for example, can come from hens fed with fertilizers, or they contain hormones. Therefore, no one can guarantee that peasants sell organic food, despite the advertisement that they make, unless they are certified to grow and sell organic products.

If a traditional product is obtained from organic raw materials, then it is organic. Traditional sausage, for example, can be considered organic only if the pig has been raised organically, and the spices used in its preparation are also organic. Traditional does not mean organic, but only produced after a traditional recipe, using traditional manufacturing technology.

Nasty and ugly vegetables are healthier - Rather true

Many consumers tend to choose the worst and worst vegetables, convinced that those who look flawless are treated with growth hormones. Specialists say there is a grain of truth in this belief. Statistically speaking, vegetables and fruits grown in an intensive system are attractive, have a commercial appearance, are large and have an ideal shape, as if they were drawn to the printer. Products grown in small households, without chemical fertilizers, have different sizes and shapes. An apple can be smaller than another, just as a carrot can be clumsy or a pickled cucumber.

What do you think about organic food? Are you willing to pay a higher price on them to have a healthier diet?

Tags Organic food Organic products