Topics: Organic food

WHAT IS ORGANIC FARMING?
Organic farming produces plant and animal foods without the excessive use of chemicals. It focuses on using fertile soil along with a variety of crops to maintain healthy growing conditions which produce a food with more nutrients and less chemicals than typical commercial foods. Organic farming prohibits the growing of GM foods, a controversial issue among commercial growers.

Animals reared on organic farms are treated properly with room to behave like animals and are fed healthy food sources not laden with drugs and other chemicals.

To keep and build good soil structure and fertility:

• recycled and composted crop wastes and animal manures
• the right soil cultivation at the right time
• crop rotation
• green manures and legumes
• mulching on the soil surface
To control pests, diseases and weeds:
• careful planning and crop choice
• the use of resistant crops
• good cultivation practice
• crop rotation
• encouraging useful predators that eat pests
• increasing genetic diversity
• using natural pesticides
Organic farming also involves:
• careful use of water resources
• good animal husbandry


Conventional vs. organic farming

The word "organic" refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don't use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weedkillers, organic farmers may conduct sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay.


Conventional farmersOrganic farmers
Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth.Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.
Spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease.Use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.
Use chemical herbicides to manage weeds.Rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.
Give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease and spur growth.Give animals organic feed and allow them access to the outdoors. Use preventive measures — such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing — to help minimize disease.

Organic products typically cost 10 to 40% more than similar conventionally produced products.

Why do we have to eat organic product?

  • Advocates of organic foods claim that it contain more nutrition like 27% more vitamin C, 21.1 % more iron, 29.3% more magnesium, 13.6% more phosphorus, and higher protein. Evidence shows that animals grown with organic feeds are much healthier than those animals grown and fed with conventional feeds, same thing with organic grown vegetable and fruit crops with no synthetic chemicals.
  • Moreover, In Danish research published in 2003, a study showed that organic products contain more flavonoids, a well-known antioxidant defense against any diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  • The chemical effects of non-organic foods, especially on children, become so alarming, as published in September 2005 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The harmful pesticides known as malathion and chlorpyrifos are widely used in agriculture and said to be damaging to neurological development of children. Several researches, using urine samples of children, are conducted to prove the negative effect of these chemicals to them. Parents should be more aware of this fact and take necessary actions to prevent any heath problems that their children might get from non-organic foods.
  • What is even more remarkable is that sustainable organic farming is not only beneficial to us, and to animals and crops, but rather, much more to our environment. An earth friendly method in farming employing nature friendly practices keep chemical off the faming land to protect wild life and water quality with the intention to integrate mechanical, biological, and cultural practices for ecological balance.

IMPORTANT BUYING TIPS: Read food labels very carefully. Take note also of products high in calories, sugar, salt and fats. Check if the products passed the standard of agricultural and food authority.

Consumers may add a little to their budget because the cost is much higher than the usual non-organic products, due to expensive farm practices by not using any harmful synthetic chemicals in farming. But rest assured that your health is much safer with organic products. I only take note of this fact for one reason: your wellbeing is highly important than anything else in this world.


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