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The word inorganic is patently inappropriate for describing food, even if that food wasn't produced in a manner consistent with organic farming. Wikipedia points this out, but doesn't really offer an alternative. While the phrase food produced through chemical farming may leave some people with a bad taste in their mouth, I doubt it carries the same connotation as food that is not organic food. Is there a better word to use here?

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The term organic food has been introduced to distinguish from that produced with the use of chemical or other growth promoters/ 'bio-cides', etc. As such you cannot have an antonym for the term organic food. –  Kris Oct 12 '12 at 14:48
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@Kris I don't understand why such a term precludes the existence of its antonym; even so, though, if your point is about the definition of antonym, can you come up with a word that describes the relative complement of organic food in food (set theory)? –  kojiro Oct 12 '12 at 14:57
    
Take a look also at the interesting discussion on "Word for “cinema with a single screen” english.stackexchange.com/questions/85475/… –  Kris Oct 12 '12 at 14:59
    
Pesticidal - but it wouldn't make a great advertisement for the product. –  Alan Gee Oct 12 '12 at 15:04
    
What is the context for the word you want to use? If it's advertising, it needs a different answer from describing such food in an academic paper. –  Andrew Leach Oct 12 '12 at 15:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Most often, "conventional" is used as a retronym for "not organic."

It's not great, and a better one may gain acceptance; be patient: these things take time.

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+1 for advocating patience. –  Kris Oct 12 '12 at 15:01
    
Here are a couple of links to strengthen your case. Other terms that I came across in my cursory search were sustainable and traditional farming. –  coleopterist Oct 12 '12 at 15:19
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@coleopterist, I don't agree that sustainable is equivalent to organic. See this discussion about the distinction between organic and sustainable: sustainabletable.org/issues/organic –  JLG Oct 12 '12 at 16:43

For product labels, the USDA uses non-organic to contrast with organic. See these links:

http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/03/22/organic-101-what-the-usda-organic-label-means/

http://www.greenerchoices.org/eco-labels/label.cfm?LabelID=151

As Jeffiekins says in his answer, for the farming method used to produce the food or textile, the terms the USDA and others use are usually organic vs. conventional:

http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/nsfc/39.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255

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