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14 Apr 2003

What's the deal with organic food?
Dear DietDoc,
I have a few queries involving organic food.

What are the benefits of eating organic foods?
Is there a huge difference between organic and non-organic food?
Is organic food more nutritious than non-organic food?
Why is organic food so much more expensive?
And what level is South Africa at when it comes to developing organic food?

Answer 309 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Ingrid
The benefits of organic food are that these foods are hopefully (we have to trust the farmers on this) grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Thus the difference would be that these foods are less contaminated by the above mentioned chemicals. From a nutritive point of view, organic foods and standard foods have more or less the same content (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, etc). Organic food is much more expensive because the farmers do not use artificial fertilizers, but compost and manure, no herbicides so they have to remove weeds manually, and no pesticides so their crops may be much smaller due to losses caused by insects, moulds and microbes. I would say that the general population in SA is not able to afford organic food because it is more expensive and the margins are so small in view of the tiny budget of most families in rural and urban populations. Economically advantaged individuals can afford the extra cost and would probably make more use of these foods if they were more commonly available.
Best regards
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