Organic vegetables are vegetables that are grown without chemicals and are therefore considered to be healthier. This vegetable does not contain herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers. Organic vegetables contain more antioxidants and vitamins. Organic vegetables are grown without the use of chemicals.
Difference between organic and non-organic vegetables
The popularity of all organic foods continues to skyrocket. Now there are more and more supermarkets or traders selling organic vegetables. The reason is that people believe that organic food is healthier, safer, and more delicious even though it is more expensive. Although the shape is almost the same, there are some differences between organic and non-organic vegetables. For more details, see the statement below.
What are organic vegetables?
Organic vegetables are vegetables that are grown without the use of chemicals. The term organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Organic vegetables must be grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This triggers the belief that organic vegetables are healthier to eat than conventional ones. In addition, some conditions must be met for agricultural products to be called organic, namely:
- The process does not contribute to pollution
- Ensure a healthy and safe living space
- Improving water and soil quality
- There is a continuous cycle of resources in the plantation.
Examples of organic vegetables on the market are bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, potatoes, kale, spinach, or squash.
When faced with the choice between organic and non-organic vegetables, it sometimes becomes a dilemma. Here are the differences between the two that you need to know.
Use of fertilizers
Generally, organic vegetables are grown using natural fertilizers such as manure or homemade compost. Meanwhile, non-organic vegetables are grown using synthetic fertilizers or factory-made chemicals.
In addition, the difference between conventional vegetables and organic vegetables is weed control. In organic vegetable gardens, weeds are controlled naturally, for example through crop rotation, manual weeding, mulching, and tillage or the use of organic herbicides. As with conventional vegetables, weed control is carried out with chemical herbicides.
Pest control on organic vegetables is done using natural methods such as birds, insects, and traps, or natural pesticides. Meanwhile, pest control on non-organic vegetables is carried out with synthetic pesticides.
From the above differences, it can be concluded that organic crops are not allowed to use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Everything has to be natural so that the cycle in the plantation is sustainable.
Are organic vegetables healthier than conventional ones?
Whether organic vegetables or conventionally grown vegetables, both are harmless to health. There isn’t strong enough evidence that organic vegetables are healthier than conventional vegetables. However, organically grown vegetables are considered more nutritious.
Here are some of the benefits of organic vegetables you can get.
- Contains more antioxidants and vitamins
- Several studies have found that organic foods are generally higher in antioxidants and certain micronutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, and iron.
- Replacing fruits, vegetables, and grains with organic versions is believed to provide additional antioxidants in your diet. However, this benefit needs further investigation.
- Lower nitrate levels
- Organic vegetables have lower nitrate levels, studies have shown that nitrate levels in these vegetables are 30% lower. High nitrate levels have been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer.
- Fewer pesticide residues, compared to conventional agricultural products, the amount of pesticide residues on organic material is lower. This happens because no synthetic pesticides are used in organic farming. A 2014 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that cadmium (a highly toxic metal) was 48 percent lower in organic produce. In addition, pesticide residues are four times more likely to be found in non-organic vegetables.
Organic vegetables are usually more expensive than conventionally grown ones. The reason for this is that the methods of organic farming require higher costs.
Whatever kind of vegetables you choose, they are all equally good for your health. To get quality vegetables, here are vegetable selection tips that you can follow.
- Choose from a variety of sources
The more diverse foods or agricultural sources you choose, the more diverse your diet will be. In addition, it also avoids the possibility of exposure to pesticides from a farm.
- Shop according to the season
Whenever possible, buy vegetables and fruit that are in season. This way, the food ingredients are still fresh and don’t go through a long process, so the nutrients are preserved when they’re in your hands.
- Wash vegetables and fruit
The next step after choosing non-organic or organic vegetables is washing. Even if it’s labeled organic or natural, rinse vegetables and fruits under the running water before eating. Washing vegetables and fruits helps remove any dirt, bacteria, or chemical residue on their surfaces. If you are unsure about the pesticide residues on the skin, it is better to consume fruits and vegetables by peeling the skin first.
It is important to always include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. The aim is to meet the need for important nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and others. Whether organic or non-organic, all are equally good. More important is how you choose it and where you buy it, wash it before consumption and make sure it is protected from chemical residues.