4 myths and truths about organic food

Organic food is already more than a reality in Brazil. But is access to this food democratic? These and other questions can be found here!

Is organic food really more expensive or harder to find? Discover the answers to these and other questions

When he launched the Map of Organic Fairs10 years ago, the Idec (Brazilian Institute of Consumer Protection) aimed to disseminate innovative solutions that came to strengthen food systems in the country.

Today, the initiative has already mapped 870 fairs (organic and agroecological) throughout Brazil, going from 262 items registered in 2015 to 1047 in 2021 — an increase of almost 300%. According to the latest data from Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Company), the organic products market grew by 35% in Brazil between 2014 and 2015.

Even with the presence of organic foods becoming more and more common in everyday life, would you be able to say what characterizes an organic food? Is it true that it is more expensive than a conventional one? To answer this and other questions, we spoke to Aziz Camali Constantino, founder of the social startup Organic Solidarity, an iFood partner entity.

“Organic food goes far beyond pesticides – this is just the most common association. When you think about the food chain as a whole, it involves two other important fronts in addition to human consumption”, explains Aziz. In other words: organic eating is not just about “what I’m going to eat”, but about the impact on the entire ecosystem.

“The first point to take into consideration is the contaminated soil – depending on the impact of the product, the land could become unproductive forever, as if it turned into a desert. The other is the families and rural entrepreneurs, who plant, who have direct contact with this poison. By contaminating the farm worker, it also creates a trauma for subsequent generations, who associate cultivation with disease, removing labor from the field. An organic food is one that complies with all these aspects of production.”

Check out the most common myths and truths about organic food:

1 – By consuming organic food, I am helping the environment
TRUE

“I often say that organic food is not the end but rather the means. The vast majority are not produced as monocultures, and a large proportion of organic farmers are from agroecology and agroforestry. These are foods that respect seasonality and the soil. All of this protects and regenerates the environment, encourages the creation of water sources and rescues biodiversity.”

2 – Organic food is more expensive

PARTIALLY FALSE

“In the market, the price of organic food is increasingly closer, in terms of values, to that of conventional food. With the rise in the dollar, conventional products should become even more expensive, due to the price of the chemicals used in production. In essence, organic is much more accessible.”

3 – Organic food is healthier
TRUE

“Organic, fresh food has a nutritional value far above industrialized food. So much so that the challenge today is that organic information is already widespread – however, access to this food is not democratic,”

4 – It is better to donate perishable food than organic food
FALSE
“The donation of basic food baskets in emergency situations, as was the case with donations taken by iFood to Bahia, are immediate relief and the quickest solution for those who need it most. However, in the long term, industrialized food does not solve, for example, food insecurity, as it has a low nutritional value. So the basic food basket does not deliver health, for example. Today, Orgânico Solidário delivers around 60 tons per month to families in vulnerable situations. iFood, with the urban gardens, takes fresh food to peripheral areas. It is this type of initiative that will solve food insecurity. It is necessary to complement the Brazilian basic basket.”

How to contribute?

A Organic Solidarity is one of the partner entities benefiting from the in-app donations from iFood. The social startup began operating during the pandemic, just over two years ago. So far, it has delivered more than 90 thousand baskets of fresh food (each with six kilos of fruit and vegetables), helping more than 80 communities, on a recurring basis, across Brazil. Today, it is the largest organic solidarity cooperative in the country, also driving the economy of small producers — there are more than 100 partners in this delivery.

To donate through the iFood app, it’s simple:

❤ When completing the order:
On the final order screen, you choose to donate R$ 2, R$ 5 or R$ 10. The total is shared between the partner institutions.

❤ In profile:
In the “Donations” tab, you select one of the partner institutions and choose the amount you will contribute.

Read more:

Urban gardens: a way to combat food shortages


How food choices contribute to a sustainable future


Food insecurity: what is it and how to combat it?


Fighting hunger: how to donate with just one click

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