Know About Organic Food


As modern people pay more attention to a healthy diet, they are concerning about the safety of food and the consumption of healthy food. They start to check on the place of origin of food products and the quality control throughout their entire cultivation and production processes. In recent years, “Organic Food” has increasingly been under the spotlight. There is a wide variety of organic food products coming into the market, ranging from vegetables, fruits, breakfast cereals to snack foods. Some people may think that organic food is healthier and its price is higher. In fact, do consumers really know what the meaning of “Organic food” is?


What is organic food?

  • It refers to food produced, handled, processed and put on sale in compliance with organic standards. The food is duly certified by certification bodies or regulatory authorities at its country of origin.
  • Organic foods are produced without the use of chemical pesticides, chemical fertilisers, antibiotics, growth hormones, animal feed additives and application of genetic modification and ionising radiation technologies.
  • Organic farming relies upon crop rotation, compost, as well as biological pest control to maintain soil productivity, supply the crops with nutrients as well as control insects, weeds and other pests.

Exploring organic food


  • Authenticity of organic food labels

When the results of the on-site assessment and analysis of organic food farming conducted by the certification bodies and regulatory authorities of its country of origin meet the local statutory organic standards, it is allowed the food product to be labelled as organic on its outer packaging. Macao relies mainly on imported food products but the results of end-product testing may not provide a sufficient analytical basis to determine the authenticity of organic food. If consumers have doubts about the organic label of a certain food product, they may visit the website of the relevant organic certification institution to obtain more information before purchase so as to protect their rights.


  • Are the organic foods sold in Macao safe?

The majority of food products in Macao, including organic foods, are imported. From a food safety perspective, all food products are regulated by the “Food Safety Law” and food safety standards, no matter whether they are produced in compliance with organic standards or not. The Department of Food Safety of Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) maintains its routine food surveillance and testing to assess the safety risk and hygiene of food products sold in the local market to make sure that they are safe for consumption.


  • Are organically grown agricultural products free from pesticide residues?

Chemosynthetic pesticides and fertilisers are not used in organic farming, but substances derived from natural sources may be used for protection of the crops during cultivation. So, the pesticide residues that may be found in organically grown agricultural products are not from chemosynthetic pesticides.


  • Do organically grown agricultural products have a poor appearance?

The appearance of agricultural products merely indicates whether the farmers have applied the appropriate farming methods or not. The presence of many holes on the crops surfaces does not mean that they are not sprayed with pesticides. There is no significant difference in appearance between organic and conventional agricultural products.


  • Can organic agricultural products be used for cooking directly without washing?

Organic fertilisers may be used in farming of organic agricultural products which could be exposed to dust and bacteria during their cultivation and transport. It is necessary to thoroughly clean and wash them before cooking and eating so as to ensure food safety.


  • Are food products claimed to be organic healthier?

There is no significant difference in nutritional value between organic and non-organic food products. The difference only lies in their production, processing and handling methods. For some processed food products that are certified as organic, like chocolate, candy and potato chips, are made with organic ingredients. However, they are high in fat and sugar, also are not healthier than conventional snack foods. It is always advisable to read the food label before consumption so as to avoid eating excessive amounts that could affect your health.