Over the last two decades, the demand from consumers for organic foods has increased
tremendously. In fact, the popularity of organic foods has exploded significantly with consumers,
spending a considerably higher amount of money on them as compared to the amount spent on
inorganic foods. The US market noted an increase in sales of more than 10% between 2014 and
2015 (Brown, n.p). The increase is in line with the views of many consumers that organic foods
are safer, tastier, and healthier compared to the inorganic foods. Furthermore, considering the
environmental effects of foods, organic foods present less risk of environmental pollution —
compared to inorganic foods. By definition, organic foods are those that are grown without any
artificial chemical treatment, or treatment by use of other substances that have been modified
genetically, such as hormones and/or antibiotics (Brown, n.p).
A food product will only be labelled as organic if it is free of any additives that were made
artificially, such as preservatives, flavoring, sweeteners, as well as colorings. On the other hand,
inorganic foods are those that are grown using artificial chemicals (Brown, n.p). Inorganic food
products are those that have been treated with artificial additives, such as preservatives,
sweeteners, and flavoring. Organic and inorganic foods possess a number of significant
differences. This paper is a comparison between the organic and non-organic foods in terms of
their properties, including their nutrient contents and effects on the health of consumers and the
Various studies that have compared the nutritional contents of organic and non-organic foods
have produced mixed results. Whereas some claim that the nutritional contents are comparable,
others have found organic foods to be more nutritious due to the high content of antioxidants
present. A number of studies have indicated that the levels of antioxidants are higher in organic
foods, as compared to
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inorganic foods, and so are the levels of certain types of micronutrients such as iron, zinc and
vitamin C (Brown, n.p). Antioxidant levels in organic foods are as high as 69%, while the levels
are lower in non-organic foods. According to a study conducted on corns and berries grown
organically, the antioxidant levels were found to be at 58%, while those of that were not organic
were found to be 52% (Brown, n.p). The higher levels of antioxidants are attributed to the fact that
organic foods have no dependence on chemical pesticide sprays for protection against the
pesticides, but instead produce antioxidants, which act as the protection. Therefore, a shift from
conventionally grown cereals, vegetables, and fruits to organic ones has the benefit of providing
extra amounts of antioxidants into the diets.
Antioxidants are beneficial to the body due to their role in reducing the risk of developing
chronic illnesses, such as some types of cancers, diseases that degenerate the neural system, as
well as cardiovascular diseases (Carrington and Arnett, n.p).
Also, while pesticide use is absent in organic foods, non-organic foods have been found to
have some toxic pesticides, such as cadmium—whose accumulation can be harmful to the health
of their consumers. According to a research study conducted on the two types of foods, nonorganic foods were found to contain higher amounts of pesticides, four times more than in organic
foods (Carrington and Arnett, n.p). While the levels of cadmium may not be as high as regulatory
agencies may find harmful, there is a risk of progressive accumulation of the chemical in the
bodies of consumers. Although cadmium may be not harmful in small amounts, accumulation into
the body over time can reach harmful levels. Therefore, the consumption of organic foods will
help consumers avoid the risks of the accumulation of pesticide residue altogether.
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Another important factor in organic foods are the nitrates levels. Nonorganic foods rely
heavily on artificial fertilizers, which are basically nitrate compounds. They, therefore, have
higher levels of nitrates compared to organic foods. The levels of nitrates in organic foods are
lower than in nonorganic foods by about 30% (Brown, n.p). The higher the levels of nitrate intake,
the higher the chance of associated health risks, such as cancer. Additionally, high nitrate levels in
infants have been associated with a condition that has a negative effect on their blood capacity to
transport oxygen (Brown, n.p).
Organic animal food products also have some significant differences in their nutritional
constitution. For instance, while the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in organic dairy products, such
as milk, are higher than in non-organic products, the levels of other minerals with health
significance, such as iodine and selenium, are lower in organic dairy products than in non-organic
ones. Also, the level of omega-3 fatty acids in organic meat is higher than in conventional meat,
while the level of saturated fats in organic meat is lower (Brown, n.p). Many health benefits are
associated with omega-3 fatty acids, such as a lower risk of suffering from heart disease.
Therefore, it is expected that a higher intake of organic animal food products will contribute to
higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids—and therefore translating into associated health benefits.
Physically, there also exists a considerable contrast between organic and nonorganic foods in
appearance. For instance, when a person goes shopping for fruits, he or she almost instantaneously
notices the differences in appearance between the two types of food products (Solomon, n.p).
Organic products such as fruits will always be variable sizes and shapes, presenting some form of
physical imperfection compared to their non-organic counterparts
On the other hand, nonorganic foods will always appear to have a relatively similar
appearance in accordance with their various types. The differences arise from the treatments given
to the products during growth. Non-organic products, some of which have undergone minimal
processing or are generally unprocessed, are usually subjected to treatment by use of artificially
processed substances for growth enhancement, which is not the case for organically produced
products (Solomon, n.p). These substances are responsible for giving the products an almost
perfect shape. That way, they will always appear similar. Contrarily, the organic foods, whose
growth is under the influence of substances naturally produced by the plant, will not achieve the
same kind of perfection in non-organic products due to the variations in supply of these growth
substances to different parts of the plants. The same situation applies to animal products. Growth
enhancing substances used in the production of non-organic meat ensures they have larger cuts.
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In summary, some studies have revealed some similarities in the nutritional contents between
organic and non-organic food substances. However, others have revealed a number of
considerable differences in the amount of antioxidants, as well as other minerals, present in
organic and nonorganic foods. Generally, organic fords have higher levels of antioxidants than
non-organic foods and are therefore more important in the prevention of chronic illnesses.
Additionally, the levels of nitrates are lower in organic foods than in non-organic foods, and so are
the levels of pesticide residues, such as cadmium, that are harmful to people’s health in high
levels. Moreover, the levels of omega-3 fatty acids are higher in organic foods than non-organic
foods—resulting in more health benefits. Finally, the two types of foods vary in physical
appearance, such as shape and size. Whereas the variation is much more substantial in organic
food products such as fruits, the levels of uniformity are higher in non-organic foods.
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Brown, Mary Jane. “What Is Organic Food, And Is It Better Than Non- Organic?”. Authority
Solomon, Zak. “Organic Vs. Non-Organic: What’s The Difference? | Food Safety News”.
Food Safety News, 2013,
Carrington, Damian, and George Arnett. “Clear Differences Between Organic And NonOrganic Food, Study Finds”. The Guardian, 2014,