Although it is increasingly common to find people who prefer to eat organic foods rather than those produced conventionally, information on their nutritional and environmental benefits is scarce.

For starters, it’s worth noting that organic growers do not use pesticides (insecticides, fungicides and chemical

It is no exaggeration to say that consumption is a way of life in many regions of the world. In Europe, for example, organic sales have tripled since the beginning of the century.

Latin America is not far behind. According to the report ‘The World of Organic Agriculture 2012’, Mexico shows production growth of 32 percent since 1996. Colombia, meanwhile, is a pioneer in the export of organic coffee and intended for that 30,000 hectares; to that the emergence of local markets for fruits, vegetables, brown sugar, essential oils, herbs and jams, among others adds.

Experts say that organic foods are healthier than those that are grown with chemicals. Lucy Hoyos, dietitian and nutritionist at the National University, explains that the agrochemicals used in conventional crops could affect the molecular structures and modify the characteristics of some food products. “These chemicals have an impact on the organoleptic properties, such as smell, texture and sometimes, the taste of food,” he says.

With his argument coincides Andres Montes, biologist dedicated to the agro-ecological production. “Organic foods have better nutritional content. Conventional, being produced with many fertilizers, tend to absorb much water, he explains. Organic have less water and are percent dry; the dry matter content is related to an increased amount of nutrients. ”

Mineral content

In the world about 850 pesticides are used. According to a report by the European Union, which includes the results of analysis performed on cultured food guzzling, about 42 percent contain pesticide residues; of that total, 5 percent is above the permitted levels.

In that sense, the agroecologist Juan Pedro Cordoba says that on earth should not be used as nitrogen products. “The nitrogen displaces he says soil minerals. The quality of food depends on the amount of minerals they have. Organic farming, however, do not move. On the contrary: some 72 remain around the plant to absorb them this. ”

Indeed, a study from 2000, of Rutgers University in the UK, showed that the mineral content of organic vegetables was between 10 and 50 times greater than conventional, and when the latter were consumed only It was obtained 13 percent of minerals, compared with organic.

However, research from Stanford University, published in 2011, concluded that there is little evidence that organic foods are healthier than traditional ones. The researchers analyzed the results of 17 studies done with humans with organic and traditional food, comparing levels of nutrients, bacteria and pesticide contamination. The analysis showed no significant differences in the vitamin content.

The truth regarding this issue appears to be that. The truth is that those who consume organic foods defend them: “I notice a difference in my body says Montes Since the way I feel healthier, I do not get colds, not enfermo.Con my wife are expecting a baby and the idea is that from the beginning to be fed with organic products. ”

how to recognize

Liliana Morales, owner of the organic shop Chlorophyll, explains that organic foods can be recognized by their labeling certified with seals of international organizations such as Ecocert and USDA are. This certification demonstrates that the food has been produced according to a protocol that is completely free of chemicals.

There is also a trusted certificate, which is intended to produce agro-ecological food form, which constitutes a more comprehensive view of the ecosystem and that takes into account the peasant producers, their traditions and knowledge, but does not pursue commercial certifications. “There are networks of farmers we work with and know that they do not use chemicals, but they do not have money to go after a commercial certification, which does not mean that your food is unsafe,” says Morales.

La Canasta, an option home

Based in Bogotá, La Canasta is an option conscious, responsible consumption and solidarity. Home market offers fresh, local seasonal food from small farmers. Bring fruits, vegetables, root vegetables and eggs.

 

CAMACHO SERGIO Iannini
Editor TIME