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Organic nuts are significantly more expensive than non-organic nuts. How do they difference with regards to the following exemplary aspects?

  • difference in pesticide use?
  • difference in large-scale vs. small-scale farming?
  • difference in social/ethical aspects of paying workers?
  • difference in quality?
  • difference between countries and specific organic certification organisations?
  • This probably depends on the country and on the specific organisation that has certified them as organic. Could you list both? – gerrit Nov 11 '16 at 10:45
  • Good point, @gerrit! I updated the question. – orschiro Nov 11 '16 at 10:53
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Pesticide use

Conventional farming uses both pesticides and fertilizers. Organic farming may only use a small list of pesticides or fertilizers, which usually excludes most if not all conventional pesticides and fertilizers. However, this list is prescribed by the certifying body and may or may not admit synthetic pesticides.

Large-scale vs. small-scale farming

Conventional farming is usually geared towards scalable farming. Controlling pests without conventional pesticides is more difficult on a large scale. (A large organic crop would be the perfect breeding ground for pests.) So organically farmed produce is usually more likely to come from a smaller-scale farm.

Social/ethical aspects of paying workers

Many organic producers also support fair wages and are Fairtrade certified. However, there is no necessary connection between these two.

Quality

Quality is not clearly defined (taste, absence of imperfections, mineral/vitamin content, ...). In some cases, however, organically produced nuts have been shown to be higher in minerals and lower in metals, thus having a possibly lower harmful effect on the human body. See this study for more information.

Specific organic certification organisations

Standards for organic labelling are sometimes more, sometimes less strict. The same applies to nuts. There are also other labels that require a higher standard, such as demeter ("biodynamic" farming).

What else?

The final produce is the most interesting to the consumer, but only a small part of the growing process. Conventional pesticides often wear out the soil and present a danger to both wildlife (apart from the "pests") and the farmers, even if these dangers are tried to be avoided as much as possible.

  • Good answer! One addition; which pesticides and fertilizers are allowed for organic foods differs from country to country. For example Europe allows only a small list of naturally-occurring pesticides and fertilizers. The US is less strict and allows much more pesticides, including some synthetic ones. – THelper Nov 15 '16 at 9:08
  • @THelper Thanks. I changed the wording slightly. You're also welcome to make further changes yourself! – Earthliŋ Nov 15 '16 at 9:40

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