What’s the Best Choice: Organically Produced Vegetables or GMO’s or Frozen Vegetables – Decoding the Debate

As we step have stepped into the fast-moving world, nutrition has become a critical concept in each one of our lives. With the evolving research and innovative methods of agriculture, food quality is considered as one of the major concerns. The question always arises, ‘I am eating, but is it good enough, is it providing me with all the nutrition I need?’ and then the evergreen discussion about which kind of food to consume and which is the best.

A higher intake of vegetables reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and various health conditions. It is also linked with improved mental health and quality of life. In a way you may say – “Want a good mood? Have more vegetables as food.”

One of the factors that affects the nutritional quality of vegetables is the way they are grown and harvested. Different farming methods can have different impacts on the health and safety of the consumers. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between the types of vegetables available in the market and how they are produced. In this article, we will compare 3 kinds of vegetables: organically grown, conventionally grown, and genetically modified. We will look at their advantages and disadvantages, and how they affect the environment and human health.


Organic vegetables have been always considered as the purest form of produce as their production relies on ecological processes, biodiversity, and cycles adapted to local conditions, which combines tradition and scientific innovation and is guided by principles for sustainable health, holistic farming, and sustainable ecosystem.

Are Organic Vegetables Free of Insecticides?

Organic vegetables are not completely free from insecticides. Although they are strictly prohibited from the use of synthetic insecticides, some residual insecticides are still allowed.

Synthetic insecticides are man-made chemicals that are used to kill or control pests, such as insects, weeds, fungi, or rodents, they are the primary agents used to protect the crops, but evidence shows that these may be harmful to us. On the other hand, residual insecticides are insecticides that remain active on the surface of plants, soil, or other materials for some time after application. They can provide long-term protection against pests, but they can also pose a risk to humans. Residual insecticides can be synthetic or natural. The FSSAI asks to limit the use of these residual insecticides to 5% of the maximum allowed for those insecticides.

Impact of Organic Vegetables on Health

According to a 2020 systematic review, the consumption of organic food does not provide a significant nutritional advantage compared to a conventional diet. Although, regular and frequent consumption of organic products is linked to the reduction in the risk of being overweight and obese, both for women and men. Although organic vegetables are nutritionally similar to conventional ones, some studies suggest that they tend to have more antioxidants.

Another advantage of organic produce is that they have less harmful metabolites. Metabolites are substances produced by the metabolic processes of living organisms, including plants. Some of these plant metabolites can be harmful to human health. When crops are treated with insecticides, they can alter their metabolism and produce more harmful metabolites than normal. For example, some studies have found that insecticide-treated crops have higher levels of nitrate, which can cause methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder.

The studies show that organic produce is linked to lower BMI and better blood nutrition levels for different age groups. When people eat these regularly and make healthy changes to their lifestyle, they can improve their health and live longer.


According to the WHO, “genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals, or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between nonrelated species.” Foods produced from or using GM organisms are referred to as GMOs.

The aim is to introduce new genetic material into the plant cells. It allows scientists to modify plants to have specific characteristics they desire, which can have various benefits in agriculture, medicine, and other fields.

One example is a genetically modified corn plant. The genetic specialist might put some genes from a bacterium into a regular corn plant that might make it resistant to pests or give extra advantages for the plant’s growth and its use.

Why are GMOs produced?

The reason why GM foods are created and sold is that they offer some benefit to either the producer or consumer. It usually leads to lower cost, higher quality, or both. Genetically modified crops possess advantages for the crop such as –

Safety of GMOs

The latest research on the impact and safety of GMOs for human health is still inconclusive and often contradictory. Some studies have found that GMOs have no adverse effects on human health and may even provide some benefits. Other studies have reported that GMOs can cause allergic reactions, toxicity, antibiotic resistance, and gene transfer to human cells or gut bacteria. Moreover, the long-term effects of GMOs on human health are still unknown, as most of the studies have been conducted for short periods and with limited sample sizes and methods. Therefore, more research is needed to assess the safety and benefits of GMOs for human health, as well as their environmental and social implications.

Currently the only approved GM crop in India is cotton. Others are still being researched for their safety. However, one study reported the illegal cultivation and consumption of other GM crops, such as corn, soybean, brinjal (eggplant), and mustard. Therefore, it is possible that many Indians are unknowingly consuming GM foods that have not been adequately tested for their safety and environmental impact.

Thus, there are 2 takeaways from the above –

GMO Labelling in India

According to the Centre for Science and Environment, a gazette notification from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs makes it mandatory for packaged foods using genetically modified products as ingredients to carry such labels from January 1, 2013.


Frozen vegetables are those that have been frozen below their freezing point so they can be stored and transported (sometimes for much longer than they would normally last) until they are needed for eating. These are often found in the frozen part of grocery stores, in sliced, grated, or chopped forms, which are our convenient option when we don’t have time for pre-prep or have guests coming over.

Nutritional Content of Frozen Foods

Fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness and often frozen within hours, locking in their nutrients and flavor. Generally, frozen foods retain their vitamins and minerals and there is no change to the carbohydrate, protein, or fat content. In some cases, frozen foods have more vitamins and minerals compared to fresh foods because fresh foods lose vitamins and minerals over time while freezing preserves nutrients.

Advantages of Frozen Foods

Many people think that frozen vegetables and fruits are inferior to their fresh counterparts. The truth is that the lower temperatures help to preserve the nutrient quality rather than degrade it and they also help to prevent bacteria in from spoiling the food, thus, extending its shelf life. Most bacteria can’t grow below a temperature of 10 degree Celsius and the temperature of freezers is kept at minus 18 degree Celsius. Downside of Frozen Foods

Although frozen foods have better retention of nutrients, there are some downsides. There is loss of moisture on the surface of food which occurs due to faster conversion of ice to vapour which causes ‘freezer burn’. To avoid freezer burn, food can be tightly wrapped to limit air exposure.

Another issue is the treatment this produce undergoes before freezing as treatments such as blanching can alter the nutrient profile, especially the water-soluble vitamins and antioxidant content. The foods are blanched before freezing to kill off any existing bacteria. This may also affect its taste profile and make it taste less fresh upon defrosting.


In conclusion, it’s difficult to definitively state which is the best type since each type has its own pros and cons –

Organic Vegetables



GMO Vegetables





In conclusion, organic, GMO, and frozen vegetables have different pros and cons that may influence the consumers’ preferences and choices. Depending on the availability, affordability, quality, safety, nutrition, and environmental impact of each option, you may decide which one suits your needs and values better.


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