Organic farms can probably feed the 10 billion people in 2050 if people turn vegan. Dairy and meat both require greener matter per unit of food energy compared to crops, fruits, and vegetables.

Such a lifestyle change is unlikely to happen. It brings us back to the equation of how the world can afford lower productivity in organic farms compared to conventional farming.

A comparison of the nutritional value, sensory qualities, and food safety of organically and conventionally produced foods were made. Except for nitrate content, there is no strong evidence that organic and conventional foods differ in various nutrients or contaminants (Bourn et al., 2002).

On the other hand, a nutritional quality comparative assessment study for fruits, vegetables, and grains raised in organic and conventionally grown crops showed that the former contained significantly more vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus and considerably fewer nitrates (Worthington, 2001).

Phenols are important to human health. The total content of this class of metabolites was studied in marionberries, strawberries, and corn cultivated in organic and conventional farms. A study comparing the three most common post-harvest processing treatments — freezing, freeze-drying, and air drying shows that in all cases, the phenol content was higher in organically raised crops (Asami et al., 2003).

162 studies, 137 examined nutrient quality in crop products, and 25 livestock products revealed that conventionally produced crops had a significantly higher content of nitrogen and organic crops had a higher content of phosphorus and higher titratable acidity. The scientists also noted no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs. Small differences in nutrient content between the two could be related to differences in production methods (Dangour et al., 2009).

When compared to developing countries in the molded parts of the world, nutritional differences like the content of minerals, vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates will determine the popularity of organic and conventional farm products. As the importance of compounds that help protect the human body from disease is understood, this difference between organic and conventional crops became an area of interest for researchers. Organic vegetables and fruits were more likely to contain more of these defensive compounds when compared to those produced in conventional farms (Brandt et al., 2001).

Additional reading:

Nutrition Facts a guide to good health

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