Sweden's KRAV organic label is increasingly popular among consumers. Photo: KRAV
Ecological or organic food is neither more nutritious or better for the environment, a prominent Swedish professor has claimed, citing a study from Denmark's International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems.
Professor Lars Bergström, a professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences told Sweden's TT newswire there was extensive research to indicate that there was no health or environmental benefits to organic food.
“All experiments show that nutrient losses from the soil will be much greater in organic farming,” Bergström said. “The big problem is that yields are only about half as large in organic farming, which means that the environmental ‘cost' of each product is significantly higher.”
Bergström argued that the enormous popularity of organic food in Sweden, with a massive 39 per cent growth in consumption only last year, was down to effective marketing by food retailers.
“One of the the reasons why it seems they do it is that business earns so much money selling a dream or a feeling,” he said.
He complained that the billions of Swedish kroner spent by state, regional and municipal bodies in Sweden on subsidising ecological food could be put to much better use elsewhere.
“I calculated once that the additional money which is spent on ecological school food would be enough to hire 3,000 extra teachers. I think it's irresponsible of politicians.”