Ecological food and sustainability

sustainability in the olive fields of Jaén

We have associated organic products with healthier and higher quality products. But is this true? Is an organic extra virgin olive oil better than a conventional one? Is an organic raw honey better than a conventional one? The same with olives. Let’s see in this article that says the scientific community of organic products and the sustainability.

If you are looking for quality organic products, the Cortijuelo de San Benito is your shop, in Las Rozas in Madrid or in our online shop. Here you can buy the best extra virgin olive oil, raw honey, olives and natural organic and conventional cosmetics. You may also be interested: Organic farming

Where to buy organic products in Madrid?

Organic products are increasingly in demand. Now we find them in any street, in a gourmet shop, in a large area and there are even shops specializing in organic products where we can buy them. Another of the places where you can buy and where you can get in direct contact with the products are the fairs, such as the bio culture fair, the largest organic fair in Madrid. Finally, if you have little time to make the purchase, internet is another fantastic channel for selling organic products.

Bio cultura

Bio culture is celebrated every year in Madrid in late autumn, usually in November. In this largest organic products fair Madrid also takes place in other Spanish cities, such as Bilbao, Valencia and Cordoba. In addition to food products, other products such as clothing, footwear, building materials, stones, etc. are sold in all of them.

In Bio Cultura de Madrid takes place in the fairground of Juan Carlos I, and you can go by car as in public transport.

Spanish organic fair, biocultura

Photo: Bioculture Fair in Madrid

In Madrid there are also continuous fairs of ecological products, as the market of supplies, in sun, operates, etc..

Benefits of organic products

Many people choose ecological products thinking that this is the best way to take care of their health and that of the planet, for its sustainability, but according to a new study carried out by the University of British Columbia in the United States and published in the scientific magazine “Science Advances”, this is not always the case.

According to Verena Seufert, a researcher at the Institute of Natural Sources, Environment and Sustainability, ecological products are considered by a part of the population as the magic solution, a Holy Grail that can solve all current environmental problems and global scarcity. However, after this study, we have discovered that the costs and benefits of organic farming vary extraordinarily depending on the context in which they are found.

In that study, Seufert and co-author Navin Ramankutty of the Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Change and Food Security at the British University of Columbia, analyzed organic agricultural crops through 17 criteria, such as: crop yield, impact on climate change, farmer’s farm income, and consumer health benefits.

This is the first study to carry out a systematic review of previous scientific research on the environmental and socio-economic effects of organic farming, carefully analysing not only studies that agree or disagree, but also assessing the conditions under which organic farming may be most suitable.

Consumer concerns

There are two fundamental concerns that many consumers are concerned about: the synthetic pesticides that can be contained in conventional products and the nutritional benefits of organic products.

Seufert and Ramankutty wrote in their article published in the journal “Advanced Sciences” that countries like Canada and the European Union where the regulation of pesticide use in agriculture is very strict and diets are rich in micronutrients, the health benefits that organic products could bring us are minimal.

However, in developing countries where pesticide use is not properly regulated and the diet of their population is micronutrient deficient, organic farming can play a very positive role in the health of the population, in agricultural fields and the farmer, according to Ramankutty, a professor at the Liu Institute for Global Affairs at British Columbia University.

Sustainability of land with organic production

Another important measure to achieve the sustainability of agricultural fields in the world is the yield of a crop. To date, most studies have compared the costs and benefits of organic and conventional farming with farmland of the same size, which does not take into account yield differences.

Previous research has shown that on average, the yield of an organic crop is between 19% and 25% lower than that of a conventional crop. Furthermore, according to Seufert and Ramankutty, they have found that many of the environmental benefits of organic farming decrease after the decrease in crop yields.

Seifert also added that organic farming could have more biodiversity benefits, but due to its lower yield, farmers will need more arable land to achieve the same amount of food, so more conversion of natural land into arable land will be needed. The conversion of natural land to agricultural land is the main cause of habitat loss, wildlife and climate change.

While new research suggests that organic farming alone cannot achieve sustainability in food production, these researchers do believe that organic farming can play an important role in the sustainability of the planet.

On the other hand, organic farming allows consumers to have greater control and knowledge of their food, how it is produced and is also the only system that is regulated by law.

Organic and conventional production must go hand in hand

In conclusion, Seufert ends by telling us that people should stop seeing organic and conventional farming as two opposing ways of managing natural resources for production and against, they should demand better agricultural practices, which should meet the current world needs for food in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Another point of view that does not take into account this research is the freshness of the food, I always preferred a fresh product that has been produced recently even if it is conventional than an ecological one that takes quite some time to elaborate or is old. For example, it is preferable to take a freshly milled extra virgin olive oil of the year, rather than an older organic olive oil that has been bottled for a long time, an extra virgin olive oil in a tin or bag in box is better than an organic one in plastic or PET, a raw honey from a national beekeeper is better than an organic pasteurised honey, a freshly made natural cosmetics is better than a more industrial and ecological cosmetics.

tomato salad

Photo 1: Salad made with organic products

Ecological products without intermediaries

Many of us have a good price associated with either large supermarkets or buying directly from the producer. But is this always the case? What are my experiences?

Final price

I’m going to tell you about one of the many experiences with supermarkets. In a large known area, I had the Serrano ham at a price, which I know very well the producer and told me at what price I put it. On the right was the chorizo of the same brand, and knowing the original price of this, the large area had multiplied it by three. In other words, cheap, not at all for a 300% marge.

We usually associate to the big surfaces always a cheap price, but when one gets into a sector, one discovers the nails that they are putting. One thing is the final price, or the price at which a large area buys it and another at the price they have analyzed to sell it.

Buying the final product usually comes out cheaper, unless this mounts its own store sale. A store requires maintenance. Therefore, even if there are no intermediaries themselves, the maintenance of a store requires raising the price of the product.


The transport and management of a product tend to raise the price a lot, especially if they are carried in small quantities and these are of little value. This tends to happen with fruit and vegetables, which are worth very little in the countryside, but when losses are added because they are damaged and damaged, and transport costs, in the end the final product goes up a lot.

In general, this favours large supermarkets because they can bring large quantities of products to their centres and reduce costs. In the case of a small producer who wants to sell his product directly, he will always assume high costs, as the final consumer will not buy large quantities of a product.

The margin

The margin of every product you want to sell is completely free. Some play with great variation of margins, others with slightly higher and constant margins, others play with the variation of qualities and most with the manipulation of the food.

In general, buying without intermediaries is what we are all looking for, but if you want to buy cheaper organic products, the best thing is to analyse the market and not be misled by advertising.



Revista científica “Phys Orh “. Organic is only one ingredient in récipe for sustainable food future.

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