Demand for organic food and public perception in the state of Kuwait: A Comparison of conventional and organic vegetable produce quality

Abdirashid O Elmi, Alfred K. Anderson, Amna A. Albinali

Abstract


Kuwait, like other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, depends almost entirely on food imports for the national food security with all the associated risks. There is a growing realization for the exigent necessity to enhance domestic production and local farmers are adopting farming system they perceive as organic. This study was designed to investigate nutritive values and safety of organic produce compared to conventionally grown vegetable crops sold in Kuwait supermarkets. Findings indicated lower total phosphorus (TP) and higher total nitrogen (TN) in the organic than in conventional vegetable samples. Higher concentrations of some trace metals, essential or not, were measured in organic crops than in conventional crops. Accompanying public perception survey of organic products in Kuwait indicated willingness of the public to spend more money to consume organic produce because of the perception of healthiness and safety. People showed preferences to consume more organic food if grown locally with reasonable price. There is a massive demand for organic agriculture in Kuwait, requiring transfer of knowledge on specific standards and methods of organic food production system. Consequently, organic agriculture can be a proven solution of feeding the people in a healthy and environmentally sustainable manner. While local farmers perceive their production system as completely organic, the absence of well-defined certification standards and regulations are non-existent. Therefore, existing domestic farming system can best be described as organic by tradition.

 

Keywords: Farming systems, organic food, heavy metals, food market, sustainability.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Baranski, M., Srednicka-Tober, D., Volakakis, N., Seal, C., Sanderson, R., Stewart,

G.B., Benbrook, C., Biavati, B., Markellou, E., Giotis, C., Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J., Rembia?kowska, E., Skwar?o-Son ?ta, K., Tahvonen, R., Janovska , D., Niggli, U., Nicot, P. & Leifert, C. (2014). Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses', British Journal of Nutrition, 112: 794-811.

Chao, W., Xiao-chen L., Li-min, Z., Pei-fang, W. & Zhi-yong, G. (2007). Pb, Cu, Zn and Ni concentrations in vegetables in relation to their extractable fractions in soils in Suburban areas of Nanjing, China. The Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 16: 199-207.

Clark, H., Hausladen, D. & Brabander, D. (2008). Urban Gardens: Lead exposure, recontamination mechanisms, and implications for remediation design, Environmental Research, 107: 312-319.

Dangour, A.D., Dodhia, S.K., Hayter, A., Allen, E. & Lock, K. (2009). Nutritional

quality of organic foods: a systematic review. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90: 680-685.

European Union (2000). Working Document on Sludge. 3rd Edn. Directorate-General Environment, Brussels

FAO (2013). FAOSTAT - FAO database for food and agriculture, Rome

Food Agric. Organ. U. N. FAO. http://faostat3.fao.org/home/index.html (Accessed 10/3/ 2018).

Harmon, R.E., McLaughlin, M.J., Naidu, R. & Correll, R. (1998). Long-term changes in

cadmium bioavailability in soil. Environmental Science and Technology, 32: 3699- 3703.

Jolly, Y. N., Islam, A. & Akbar, S. (2013). Transfer of metals from soil to vegetables and possible health risk assessment. SpringerPlus, 2:385.

Kesse-Guyot, E., Peneau, S., Mejean, C., Szabo de Edelenyi, F., Galan, P., Hercberg, S. & Lairon, D. (2013). Profiles of organic food consumers in a large sample of French adults: results from the Nutrinet-Sante cohort study. PLoS One, 8: e76998.

Lairon D. (2009). Nutritional quality and safety of organic food. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, DOI: 10.1051/agro/2009019.

EU Commission Regulation (2006). Setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in Foodstuffs. Official Journal of the European Union, NO 1881.

Pimentel, D., Hepperly, P., Hanson, J., Douds, D. & Siedel R. (2005). Environmental,

Energetic, and Economic Comparisons of Organic and Conventional Farming Systems. BioScience, 55: 573-582.

Reganold, J.P., Andrews, P.K., Reeve, J.R., Carpenter-Boggs, L. & Schadt, C.W.

(2010). Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems. PLOS ONE, 5(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012346

Soltoft, M., Bysted, A., Madsen, K.H., Mark, A.B., Bugel, S.G., Nielsen, J. & Knuthsen, P. (2011). Effects of organic and conventional growth systems on the content of carotenoids in carrot roots, and on intake and plasma status of carotenoids in humans. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 91:767-75.

United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York (2015).

Yussefi, M. (2017). Development and state of organic agriculture worldwide. In:Willer H, Yussefi M, editors. The world of organic agriculture, IFOAM publication. Available: http://www.soel.de/ inhalte/publikationen/s/s_74.pdf. Accessed Oct. 2017.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.