“Is organic food vegan?” is a question generally asked by vegans because organic seems to be a synonym for being vegan. This google snippet shows that this query remains constant over a period of 5 years. So what is the answer?
Veganism is an ethical consideration whereas organic is a way of growing foods or raising animals to minimize the harm to the environment. Hence, I think it is important that vegans understand what organic actually means and if it is indeed ethical in all circumstances.
The short answer is organic food can be vegan. This answer has a tint of information that organic food is not vegan and this is because vegan is not the same as organic all the time, in fact being organic does not mean being vegan or vice versa in all sense. I will explain in the article what I mean by this.
difference between veganism and organic food?
The difference between vegan food and organic food is the way they are raised and produced. Organic refers to what farmers do, whereas vegan refers to what you don’t do.
Organic farmers do not use synthetic fertilizers, artificial pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or non-organic agricultural chemicals. While the vegans do not eat animal products such as meat and fish, nor use their byproducts such as milk and honey in food preparation.
In short, Organic farming is done to have less toll on the environment and be more nature-friendly.
However, veganism is a way of life that goes beyond requiring a person to avoid using animal products for food. Vegans try to boycott animal products in all aspects of life avoiding zoos, circuses, and other animal sports events, etc.
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Why Vegans confuses between organic and vegan?
The main reason for this confusion is because a lot of vegans do not understand what veganism is. They only know that they don’t eat meat and dairy. So they directly equate veganism with organic food, thinking that since it is organic then it must be vegan.
The basis of confusion is what I think comes from the pro-environmental look of organic farming as environment protection is one of the fundamental principles of veganism. So, it is natural for someone to mistake organic food to be vegan because organic food is environmentally friendly.
Why organic food is not always vegan?
The fact is veganism means something different than what the term organic means.
As already mentioned, veganism is an ethical concept which denotes that it is wrong to use and exploit animals for food and other purposes in any situation and in any form.
A lot of vegans are confused because they think that everything labeled as ‘organic’ must be vegan. This is untrue. Although ‘organic’ is an indicator that the product has been produced in a way that does not harm the environment, it does not mean that the product must be vegan.
Organic produce can actually use animal ingredients such as milk, honey, eggs, and other milk products, honey, lard, and gelatin (sold as vegetarian gelatine).
Another reason is that in our contemporary world, we use organic food in our diet despite it being grown without the use of pesticides and chemicals but indirectly involves the exploitation of animals to grow these foods with no concern for them or their welfare.
For example, if you are vegan and you buy organic potatoes which you know are pesticide-free, then the potatoes might be fed with animal byproducts to grow them, so in this case, even though the potatoes are organic they still exploit animals. Because they were made to use manure for growing, as it is an indirect use of animals in order to produce food.
What vegans need to understand here is that organic farming does not always translate into an ethical concept as veganism does.
Should Vegans eat Organic Food?
I think that now you know what is the difference between organic and vegan food but still, be asking should we eat organic food?
Well, the answer is simple
In the contemporary world, it is near to impossible to eradicate the indirect use of animals in farming like animal manure (other than if you grow your food on your own by vegan means) but what you can do is simply stick on to the basics of veganism. That is dairy-free and meat-free (I mean no direct and visible use of animals should be there) and if you are having a strict stance for veganism you can deep dive into the ingredients list of each and every product before you use even if it is an organic one.
I have dedicated my life towards veganism and now I am analyzing products and food, research about them, and provide an opinion on their adherence to veganism principles.
You can read more about them on my blog and if you have any doubt regarding any food or product feel free to contact me at [email protected]. I will provide a detailed review of it.
No, this is not always the case. In fact what is vegan can not be organic due to the use of pesticides, fertilizers and other non-organic chemical substances. Moreover what is organic can not be always vegan. For example, honey, milk, etc are organic but not vegan
A food both organic and vegan is better than solely being vegan or being organic. However, organic food is better for non-vegan because conventional methods use chemicals not good for human health.
A vegan product might be not good for health even if it is not derived from animals like alcohal.