Does organic food taste better?
Interesting question! What do you think? Why would it?
After all, It's just the same product, but with no chemicals in it.
Is it though?
I would like to mention a key word here: Biodiversity
What does Biodiversity stand for?
If you Google it, you will find the below definition: "the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable."
Why would it be important, and most of all, why would it be desirable? Why should we even care about Biodiversity? And finally, how is it related to the taste in our food?
Let me help answer these questions with another question: where does the taste in our food come from?
In part, it comes from the nutrients in the soil where the trees/plants grow, and its surrounding plants. Which depend on a number of factors, including the animals that inhibit this space, as well as the plants and trees that grow around them.
The trees "feed" off of the soil below them and breath the air around them. The richer that soil, the healthier those trees, and the tastier their fruit. Richer means abundance as well as diversity. We want the soil to be full of a variety of different elements, as well as other plants.
One key point is that plants interact with one another, in positive and negative ways. But they definitely influence each other. They take from the soil around their roots, and in turn give back to it.
So, what is the difference (at least in terms of taste) between a tomato -or an olive tree- grown in an organic "terroir" or ecosystem, versus those grown in one infected with chemical pesticides.
As you can well imagine, pesticides kill not only the "weed", or unwanted plants, but everything else together with that. Basically, everything except the tomato or the olive tree we want to cultivate. There is a huge scientific effort and research behind these chemical tools which enables them to do just that.
Take a look at the image below, taken with my phone somewhere near my home.
Notice something strange? The two farms, separated by a fence, both include some olive trees.
Apart from the trees however, the farm on the left is also inhibited by numerous plants, bushes, greens, non-olive-tree-trees etc. Its colorful!
The one on the right however consists exclusively of olive trees. Its sad, dark and lonely.
The chemical pesticides utilized on the farm on the right have killed everything but the olive trees. There are no bees, no worms, no snails, no rabbits (what will they eat there?), no birds, basically nothing else except for olive trees.
As a result of this, the soil in-between the roots of these trees is much poorer in nutrients compared to the one on the left.
That will (over the years) lead to significant degradation off the quality, variety and abundance of nutrients in that soil. Which will in turn lead to significant degradation of the fruit (olives) of those trees.
This means, simply speaking, that over the years a farm controlled by chemical pesticides will eventually produce fruit & vegetables of lower and lower quality, taste and aromas compared to an organic farm free of chemicals.
Which can explain why, in the long term, food from non-organic agriculture tastes and smells less & less like it used to when we were young.