Organic foods: Are they safer?
Organic agriculture is increasingly under the spotlight for being a promising approach to address the challenges raised by the increasing demographics and urbanization as well as climate change. In the eyes of consumers, this often translates into healthier, safer, tastier and more environmentally friendly foods. But the “organic” certification actually indicates products that are produced in accordance with certain standards throughout the production, handling, processing and marketing stages, and which aim at a different set of benefits: better incomes for small-scale farmers and increased food security, environmental benefits such as improved soil and water quality and biodiversity preservation, and improved animal welfare. Therefore, while organic agriculture may relate to a set of different improved practices, the term organic in and of itself is not a guarantee of food safety. Finally, organic agriculture can be considered as part of the broader approach of agroecology, where ecological concepts and principles are applied in order to optimize interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment, and consideration is given to social aspects that need to be considered for a sustainable and fair food system.