Organic food, bio, eco, what’s the difference?

The organic production is, according to the definition given by the european regulation that governs the same, an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources, the application of high standards on animal welfare and production according to the preference of certain consumers for products produced from substances and natural processes.

What does “organic production” really mean?

Plant-based foods

When we consume a food labeled as organic, eco, or bio, it means that it satisfies certain limitations in the way it is cultivated and treated to be able to comply with this regulation:

  • Must not use genetically modified organisms
  • Its by-products must be recycled
  • It should contribute to maintaining soil fertility and avoiding soil erosion by properly choosing species, varieties, crop rotation and cultivation techniques

Livestock production

From the point of view of livestock, in order for it to be considered ecological, it must be in close relationship with the soil that provides it with food and to which livestock can contribute to providing organic matter and nutrients that it needs.

In addition, an ecological livestock production must provide livestock with access to outdoor areas or pastures and ensure animal welfare, basing veterinary care on disease prevention.

Processed foods

We also see already processed foods that are labeled as organic. That is possible when all or most of the ingredients are.

Equivalence of the labels: bio, eco, organic…

On many occasions consumers do not find labels that use abbreviations such as “bio”, “eco” or words like “organic”. It is possible that for some consumers each of these terms has nuances in its meaning.

But the reality is that according to the European regulation, these can only be used when the food complies with the organic production regulation, not in other cases. Therefore, in terms of compliance with rules that legally allows them to use that name, all those terms are equivalent.