WORLD DEMAND FOR ORGANIC FOOD
|Organic foods are foods produced by organic
farming. While the standards differ worldwide, organic farming in
general features cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that
foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve
biodiversity. Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are not
allowed, although certain organically approved pesticides may be used
under limited conditions. In general, organic foods are also not
processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food
Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as organic within their borders. In the context of these regulations, organic food is food produced in a way that complies with organic standards set by national governments and international organizations. Although the produce of kitchen gardens may be organic, selling food with the organic label is regulated by governmental food safety authorities, such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or European Commission.
is widespread public belief, promoted by the organic food industry, that
organic food is safer, more nutritious, and tastes better than
conventional food. These beliefs have fuelled increased demand for
organic food despite higher prices and difficulty in confirming these
claimed benefits scientifically.
effects such as the “halo” effect, which are related to the choice
and consumption of organic food, are also important motivating factors
in the purchase of organic food. An example of the halo effect was
demonstrated by a study of Schuldt and Schwarztz.
The results showed university students who inferred
that organic cookies were lower in calories and could be eaten more
often than conventional cookies. This effect was observed even when the
nutrition label conveyed an identical calorie content. The effect was
more pronounced among participants who were strong supporters of organic
production, and had strong feelings about environmental issues. The
perception that organic food is low-calorie food or health food appears
to be common.