How Important Is Eating Organic Fruit?


The trend of organic fruit seems to be a positive thing. But how do you navigate in the maze of benefits, food labels and farm practices?

In recent years there has been a lot of media coverage on the importance of organic fruit. Some of my fellow students have written great pieces on the reasons for eating organic fruit and problematic food labelling acts regarding GMOS.  Going organic is something that most of us would prefer, however it can be a difficult choice to make if you are on a student’s budget. If money was not a factor it would not be a concern to pay twice as much for the organic option instead of the non organic one. Valuing how much better one fruit is from the other can be very hard and people get most of their information from mainstream media outlets. I wanted to find out how important it is to choose organic from the people that are actually out there growing these fruits and veggies, so I head over to the farmers market here in Santa Barbara to answer some questions.

Brody Thompson, John Givens Farm

What is it that you do and where are you located?

“So this is a family run business. The main farmers is my father and his partner and they started the business around 35 years ago. I just sell at the farmers market but they have a whole crew of 30-60 guys depending on the season who harvest, pick, plant, everything. We are located in Santa Barbara off the 217 between Hollister and the bike path. We also have a few satellite fields so we are as far north as Buellton.”

Do you think it is important to buy organic fruit? If so, why?

“I think what is important is to have some kind of relationship with the person you are getting the fruit from. Just like people wanna seek out the best dentist when they need work on their teeth, you wanna seek out the best farmer when  you are gonna be using that food to sustain you for the rest of your life. We personally believe in organic, but even more important is to know what kind of practices your farmer practices on their farm. Because just like with anything else, there can be bad farmers that are organic and there can be good farmers that are not organic. It is important to understand that without being organic there are less regulations, therefore you have more concerns with pesticides and stuff like that.”

Is there some fruit that is more okay to buy non organic than others?

“Typically anything with a harder skin and the fruit on the inside there is less concern. Lettuces and strawberries and stuff like that are of higher concern.”


Brody Thompson from John Givens farm at saturdays farmers market.

Dan Yte, Santa Rita Organic Farm

What is it that you do and where are you located?

Our farm is in Lompoc, California. And we grow a lot of different veggies here, all based on seasonality. We grow it organically so we are certified organic.

Do you think it is important to buy organic fruit? If so, why?

“Yeah, I do think it’s important. It is better for the environment to support farms who use organic practices. And I think that it is better for you as well, if not healthwise, then at least as far as taste goes. It just taste better honestly.”

Is there some fruit that is more okay to buy non organic than others?

“So a lot of the stuff that we import, like south american bananas and what not have different standards when it comes to being certified organic. So practices can vary and it is hard to really know but. I think that if you can do it organically then you should do that.”

Robin Farm

What is it that you do and where are you located?

“Here in the stand we sell seasonal fruit so we have different types of fruits and veggies all year round. We are a family farm located in Santa Paula, CA. It is actually my parents farm but they have gotten a bit older so I am helping out.”

Do you think it is important to buy organic fruit? If so, why?

“Generally we try to keep our fruit as simple as possible in terms of growing but we are not certified organic. Where we are situated the soil is so nutrient poor, the soil type is not conducive to organic farming so we have to use some industrial fertilizers. But not in a scale that will affect the environment. Our fertilizer actually comes from animals but has been industrialized. Being an organic farmer, you nearly lose half the crop. That is why organic is so expensive, because there’s so much loss unless it’s small scale and you have a business model that can support that. Half the people here have big farms with thousands of acres and with beetle issues on top of that, it is just not possible to be consistently organic. But it’s not like these guys are “Monsanto monsters”. The organic thing is a grand ideal that is mainly supported by people that don’t really know anything about farming. Sort of a utopian thinking versus a hard reality, practical thinking.”



Robin Farms stand at saturdays farmers market.

Is there some fruit that is more okay to buy non organic than others?


“Organic fruit is more nutritious because it is farmed at a smaller scale, which means it is being picked later, so you get a higher quality product because since it is not picked green. That being said, our main thing is apricots which we have in the summer. Many people say that our apricot is the best in California, but, it is not organic. Because we have to fertilize. All of us these farmers work hard under the sun to give people a good product, and there is a lot of heart and concern involved since it is the same product we would give our families.”

I can warmly encourage people to visit the farmers market on saturdays or tuesdays to pick up their produce. Talking to these farmers gave me a new perspective on organic and non organic fruit and veggies.


About Author

Tim Persson

Tim Persson was born in Umeå, Sweden and came to Santa Barbara in 2014. He is a Liberal Arts major focusing in business and marketing. Tim spent two years at Santa Barbara City College before completing his transfer to Antioch. He loves traveling and exploring new places. Soccer has always been close to his heart with Liverpool being his favorite team. He loves a challenge and has high hopes for the future.

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