It has often been debated if we should eat foods only made from organic farming methods? Is it harmful to eat food from conventional farms? Would we benefit from eating organic food only? And so on. However, it is not always simple to answer all these questions with straight answers. Yet, we may look into what organic food is, what the organic ingredients are and how it differs from the conventional methods of growing food.
What is organic food?
Organic food is grown with natural farming methods without using any synthetic ingredients, chemicals for fertilization, pesticides, or any other methods of GMO (genetically modified organism). The organic food is also not processed with any synthetic chemicals, additives or preservatives.
In an organic farm some methods of pest control and fertilization are used, which are also natural and without synthetic chemicals. The soil is prepared through all natural fertilizers, the plants and animals are also grown in natural organic methods without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. They are fed organic food and raised naturally.
The green revolution
The organic movement started in the early 40s and 50s in response to the rapid industrialization of agriculture, and it became known as the Green Movement. Countries like USA, Canada, Japan, UK, Germany and many other developed countries regulate the organic farming so that the producers of organic food follow proper guidelines and regulations in order to market their food as organic.
The term organic farming derived from a book by Lord Northbourne, published in 1930, where he coined the term “organic farming” out of his notion of “the farm as organism,” to illustrate a holistic, ecologically evenhanded approach to farming, in contrast to farming using imported chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Legal definition of organic food
In the United States, the organic food growing system is regulated and governed in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, the Code of Federal Regulation Title 7, Part 205. The government’s regulations were designed to integrate mechanical, cultural and biological practices that promote recycling of resources, enhance ecological balance, and preserve biodiversity in lands and also in livestock where the livestock must be allowed to graze in natural pastures without regular use of growth hormones, drugs or antibiotics.
The difference between organic food and “natural” food
The “natural” food is not the same as ‘’organic’ food because if a food is labeled “natural,” the government agencies are not going to intervene with the product, but if a food item is labeled “organic” it will have to be government approved and regulated. New rules and regulations about organic food are being enforced since the year 2000, and the USDA is pretty strict about the companies that market their food with “organic” label on them. However, both the organic and natural food doesn’t use any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or growth hormones.
Why choose organic food?
Is organic food really superior to the food grown in conventional methods? Are we facing any dangers if we eat food in conventionally grown farms? Let us see what we can conclude from the below information.
According to the recent studies, the food grown in organic methods have slightly higher nutrition value and durability compared to conventionally grown food. It has also been found through studies that organically grown animals produce higher quality of meat and higher in protein and vitamin values and omega-3 fatty acids in the dairy and poultry products.
The food grown in organic farms are not exposed to any toxic chemicals or fertilizers. The livestock also does not receive regular dosage of antibiotics and growth hormones, or synthetic nutrients, and therefore, they do not expose us to harmful chemicals and drugs or residue from the insecticides. There are many long term health issues associated with these chemicals.
Because of limited use of modern machinery and chemicals, three are fewer emissions of harmful gases, chemicals, contamination and release of greenhouse gases through organic farming. It also helps to strengthen the ecological balance and reduces pollution in air water and soil. There is also less loss of nutrients because most of the nutrients are recycled and also less energy is wasted. Therefore, the environmental benefits of organic farming cannot be ignored.