January 07, 2021 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Organic vs. Non-GMO: what is the difference?
What does Organic vs. GMO mean in general?
Organic – it’s a philosophy based on the careful treatment of food; it’s a harmony between humans and nature, it’s about using growing processes that are to conserve the natural resources, the environment, and of course, increase the level of biological diversity.
It is prohibited at all stages of production to use chemically synthesized excipients (fertilizers, pesticides, technological impurities), ionizing radiation, growth regulators and stimulators, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), antibiotics for prophylactic purposes, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
Furthermore, the production of all organic products begins with land certification. To receive organic certification, at least 2-4 years must pass, as there is no guarantee that substances banned in organic production have not been used on this land before. If the manufacturer produces both organic and traditional food, adequate measures must be taken, so the two products can be clearly distinguished. The separate storage location is crucial, as well as proper labeling, clearly identifying organic and non-organic foods. If the same equipment is used to produce both organic and conventional products, it must be thoroughly cleaned so that there is no cross-contamination. Every stage of production must be monitored and certified. The COA (Certificate of Analysis) is a quality mark that allows you to track the production line of the product.
On contrary, GMO products can contain DNA fragments from any other living organisms (plants, bacteria, insects, fish, animals, and even humans). Ways of introducing foreign genes are extremely dangerous as they do not consider the fact that most of the genetic information contained in DNA is holographic in nature. The danger of such genetic interventions is that the process of transferring foreign genes is based on the use of viruses and plasmids (bacteria) that can penetrate the cellular genome or cell of the body, and then use cellular resources to create many copies. Generally, the purpose of genetic modification is to obtain super-resistance of agricultural GMO plants to huge amounts of pesticides produced by the corporations that sell transgenic seeds. All these toxins are accumulated in GMO plants and are then transmitted to humans.
Many scientists proved that GMO consumption is dangerous. However, the producers of GMO products continue promoting their goods on the world market more and more aggressively. They ignore the fact that the consumption of GMO products can lead to diseases as well as allergy reactions.
Why are Organic products more expensive than conventional ones?
Organic production is much more expensive than conventional: the growing technology and processing are strictly regulated by approved norms and standards. Besides, organic manufacturing can produce less harvest in comparison with conventional production. Pricing is also affected by the cost of annual organic certification.
What does the Organic label mean?
If you buy a product and it is marked as organic on the label, we normally understand that the item is grown and produced in accordance with the approved rules that minimize the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth regulators, artificial food additives, as well as prohibit the use of GMOs. However, sometimes if you see “bio”, “natural”, “eco” on the label, it does not always mean that the product is organic. If you have any doubt about the quality of the product you’re buying, it is your right to ask for a copy of the Certificate of Analysis.
The organic production is strictly controlled by the certifying body that arranges mandatory annual visits to the production or field, just to check the quality and to make sure that the production line works in compliance with the organic standards. In fact, it’s not easy to obtain an organic certificate. Such a process can take 3 to 7 years – it all depends on the land/field and how it was previously used. In addition, companies have to pay extra for tests if required by certifying bodies. Moreover, enterprises specialized in organic production are used to unscheduled inspections without previous arrangement – when the inspector comes to verify the very process of production. In other words, the fruits or legumes are checked for the content of micro and macroelements, enzymes, and vitamins. In case the inspector notices any discrepancies, the validity of an organic certificate from such a manufacturer may be suspended or nulled.
The key difference between Organic vs. GMO is the fact that manual work is more observed in organic production. Sometimes foods with GMOs taste better, and this is due to the addition of special preservatives disguised under a yummy flavor. Additionally, genetic modification can make products hypoallergenic. As a result, the product becomes safer for allergy sufferers. That’s why they can fully enjoy apples, nuts, various berries, honey, and other allergenic delicacies.
Apart from this, by genetic engineering, the individual genes are transferred from one organism to another. GMOs are produced to provide higher nutritional value as well as protect crops from pesticides. On contrary, organic foods do not contain pesticides, fertilizers, solvents, or additives. By USDA standard, Certified Organic Foods are grown and processed under strict federal regulations that cover everything from soil quality and pest control, to animal breeding practices.
Gmo-free vs. Organic
People usually get confused when they compare the notions “Non-GMO” and “Organic”. Basically, GMO-free products do not contain any GMO components. However, it does not mean that they are organically grown. Organic, on the other hand, is a synonym to Non-GMO, hence, Organic is always Non-GMO but not vice versa.
Proper nutrition is the main factor affecting health and well-being. Obviously, organic products have significant advantages over traditional ones: free from preservatives and dyes, organic methods of cultivation: without flavors and stabilizers, GMO-free. Nevertheless, we should admit that Non-GMO products contain more nutrients and are known for their greater durability. The critics of organic products claim that organically grown foods may have higher bacteria levels due to limited pesticide and herbicide usage. Taking into account all pros and cons, think about what type of products you should choose for yourself and your loved ones.