Behind The Scene of Organic and Non-GMO Products Is It Better and Healthier

Nowadays we associate healthy food with organic and natural products, or in advanced terms Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). Food ingredients that go through a genetic engineering process are often considered harmful to human health. The terms “organic” and “non-GMO” have transformed from obscure words to viral sensations. But is the premise true that organic and Non-GMO are healthier than conventional food products?

What is Organic and Non-GMO ?

Based on the terminology Organic products refer to the way a product or ingredient is produced. If it is plant-based that means grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizer, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. For animal-based products, it must come from livestock raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones. Meanwhile, Non-GMO refers to the genetic makeup of the organism from which an ingredient is derived. In more specific meaning Non-GMO is genetically modified organisms that have had their DNA altered via gene splicing, gene modification, or transgenic technology to improve crop quality and yield or to limit labor requirements for weed management.

MYTHS About Organic and Non-GMO

We’ve covered the terms organic and Non-GMO, now let’s break down the myths about products with these labels :

Nutritional Standpoint

As quoted from the article on Prospector by Jamie Marchetti “Today’s Dietitian explains that research has shown no nutritional benefit to choosing organic versus nonorganic foods3. While a consumer may also have sustainability concerns, no significant nutrition or health effects can be attributed to organic products. Dietitians advise that people focus on consuming adequate fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet, regardless of whether the products and foods they choose are organic or not.”

According to Gregory Jaffe, biotechnology director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Evidence does not support that GMO products pose health concerns. GMO products are unlikely to impact the health of the consumer.

Not 100% Made In Natural

If you think food with the label 100% organic on it, means it’s 100% natural made, you’ll be surprised at how wrong you are.

Organic food doesn’t mean pesticide-proof. It contains fewer pesticides than non-organic foods, but there are over 20 chemicals that farmers can use on organic crops to help keep those crops pest-free. Even with the use of natural pesticides may not be much safer for the environment (or your health) than synthetic pesticides.

According to regulations published by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the product to qualify for the organic label. The current minimum is 70% organic. This means 30% of it must be organic-compliant, such as nonorganic agricultural products that are not available commercially in an organic version, or certain accepted nonagricultural products.

Misperception

labeling between Non-GMO and GMO can lead to wrong perceptions. An article written by Jamie Marchetti said “There is also concern that GMO labeling will imply that GMOs are not safe, which is counter-productive to the intended goal to simply inform the consumer.”

Making a good decision on what kind of product you will consume and put into your body is a smart choice. But you must also remember that you should not fall into the false premise or perception that “organic” and “Non-GMO” are healthier and more nutritious than conventional food products. With the information that is easily obtained and accessed as consumers, we are required to be more careful in sorting information, including information about our food products.

 

Food Science and Nutrition Bachelor's Program

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