The Importance of Organic Food in this Age and Time

October 22, 2020 4 min read

The Importance of Organic Food in this Age and Time

The Importance of Organic Food in this Age and Time

Remember the time when food was just food? Nobody cared about how it was grown, or what the animals were fed, or whether they got exercise or not. Those days are long gone. Now, all these things (and more) matter. These things are what organic food is about.

But is organic really different from conventional foods? Is it just a fad? Let's dive right into this.

What Exactly Is Organic?

Simply put, organic food is food that has been produced as naturally as possible. This means that it should be free of certain things, or processes, which are specified in international standards as non-organic. These include:

  • Synthetic fertilizers.
  • Fertilizer made using sewage sludge.
  • Synthetic pesticides to control pests.
  • Irradiation to eliminate pests, diseases, and preserve food.
  • Genetic engineering or the use of genetically modified products in any step in production.
  • Antibiotics given to animals to prevent disease.
  • Growth hormones given to animals to encourage faster growth.
  • Products from livestock reared in enclosed conditions without pasture feeding.

How Organic Plant-Based Food is Produced

Have you ever wondered how organic food is produced? Here are some of the things farmers do to make sure their plant produce is as natural as possible.

  • Instead of synthetic fertilizers, farmers use plant waste, compost, or livestock manure to improve soil fertility.
  • Farmers practice crop rotation, where different crops are grown on a piece of land on a rotational basis. This gives the soil time to recover certain minerals so the farmers don't have to keep adding more.
  • Crop rotation also helps interrupt pest and disease cycles.
  • Instead of herbicides, farmers use mulching and hand weeding to control weeds.
  • To prevent loss of soil through soil erosion, farmers plant cover crops. These are crops that completely cover the soil and prevent it from being carried away by water.
  • Pest control is done using predatory insects, traps, or the use of natural pesticides. The amount of natural pesticide used has to be approved by authorities for the produce to be certified organic.

The Importance of Organic Food in this Age and Time

Organic Livestock Farming Practices

Well, what about animal products? How do farmers make sure their animal products are organic?

  • The animals' living conditions have to be as close to their natural ones as possible. For example, they should have at least 30% of pasture feeding.
  • Animals should be fed using organically produced food products.
  • Disease control is done through cleanliness, wholesome food, good ventilation, and proper exercise. No antibiotics.
  • No growth hormones are given to stimulate or hasten growth. Just good old healthy feeding and exercise.

The Importance of Organic Food in this Age and Time

How Organic Food Is Processed

Organic is not just about how the plants are grown or how animals are reared. It's also about how the food is processed.

Only organically-produced ingredients should be used in processing. In some cases, some synthetic and non-organic ingredients are allowed in limited amounts.

Organic ingredients are stored separately from non-organic ingredients to avoid inadvertent mixing.

Ingredients added to organic food during processing also have to have been organically produced. Synthetic additives like flavors, preservatives, fillers, etc. are prohibited.

The company has to do rigorous record-keeping to enable tracing of all products and their ingredients and ensure that they are also organic.

Health Benefits of Organic Food

Is organic food healthier? The jury is still out on this, but so far, the prognosis is good. Here's why.

It is Fresher

Remember the 'no preservatives' rule in processing of organic food? Because organic food doesn't have preservatives, it's fresher than conventional food, which can last longer because it's packed with preservatives.

This also means that you have to consume organic food faster, otherwise it will spoil.

Fewer Pesticides

One of the reasons you have to thoroughly wash raw fruit and vegetable before eating is to get rid of pesticide residues. Non-organic foodstuff gets sprayed with synthetic pesticides to kill off pests, and unfortunately, a lot of the pesticide remains on the food and ends up in your body.

Pesticide residues accumulate slowly in the body and eventually lead to health problems.

Fewer Antibiotics

Conventionally reared animals are treated with antibiotics to fight infectious diseases. This wouldn't matter if the antibiotics were completely eliminated from the animal's bodies once their job is done.

Unfortunately, this doesn't happen. Antibiotics remain in animal products and end up in our food. What happens when you take antibiotics when you're not sick?

The germs get used to them. So when you do get sick, taking meds doesn't work. The germs have become resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is becoming a major health problem worldwide and one of the factors fueling it is eating antibiotic-laden animal products. Organically reared animals are free from this problem.

The Importance of Organic Food in this Age and Time

No Growth Hormones

Non-organic farmers give their livestock growth hormones to promote faster growth. These hormones end up in the animal products and ultimately in our bodies. You don't want foreign hormones interfering with your body processes.

For instance, the presence of growth hormones in dairy products is thought to be one of the factors responsible for allergic reactions and acne. Even food given to organically reared animals should be free of foreign substances like hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, and pesticides.

Rich in Nutrients

Organic food products have more nutrients than non-organic products. Since they're grown in natural conditions, they have access to nutrients that non-organic crops wouldn't have.

For example, the barley grass that goes into producing Synergy Natural Organic Barley Grass Powder 500g is grown in fertile soil in an open country and is, therefore, more nutritious than barley grass grown indoors in trays.

Synergy Natural Organic Barley Grass Powder 500g

No Genetically Modified Organisms

Non-organic crops are genetically engineered to be resistant to pesticides and herbicides so that these can be applied to the whole farm without harming the crops.

The products from these crops are not only genetically modified, but they also have pesticide and herbicide residue, which isn't good for your health.

Final Words

There's no doubt that organic food is better than non-organic, conventionally produced food. With its growth in popularity, it has become more easily available. Try it and you'll see the difference.

The Importance of Organic Food in this Age and Time