Surveys show that people go organic because they think it tastes better, is more nutritious, and safer.
However, when we look at the science, is there any evidence that backs this claim up?
To see if organic food tastes better than conventional food, researchers gave individuals pieces of tomatoes to a selection of subjects, presenting some of them as organic.
Individuals were more likely to state that the tomatoes presented as organic were tastier. But here’s the catch- a few of those delicious, “organic” tomatoes, were actually non-organic. The scientists intentionally mislabelled them.
Other studies have found that, similarly, slapping an organic label on food, even if it is not organic, can make people believe it tastes better.
But organic food costs more, so it has to taste better, right?
Generally speaking, studies have found that organically grown crops do not show a reliable correlation with its flavour.
Individual studies also have probed whether or not there are extra nutrients in organic foods. In 2012, researchers analysed the nutritional value of organic food in comparison to regular foods. They concluded that there weren’t any significant differences in the vitamin content of organic and conventional foods.
Any minor differences would not matter for many people. The difference is so infinitesimally small; it would only be significant to someone on the verge of starvation.
Much more difficult to research, however, is if organic food is safer in the long run than conventional food because organic foods don’t use synthetic pesticides.