It is crucial to be aware of the importance of organics in today’s world. The term organic is used to describe the only type of agriculture that has made nature its main point of interest. Organic products are produced through farming methods that are both animal and environmentally friendly. These products work towards reducing and eliminating the use of chemicals, pesticides and genetically modified seeds that many producers rely on to grow their food. Methods such as cover crops, compost and soil rich in microbial life are used in organics to create an environment that can be endured through time. The high demand of consumers for organic products can provide many health benefits for humans and the environment.
Countless ideas regarding organics has led to various misconceptions about which foods are and are not made the way nature has intended. Certified organic products will be clearly labelled; ensuring consumers get the best product the market has to offer.
Misleading advertisements and labels can be differentiated from real organic products. Rules and regulations have been set for Canada and the US, stating that organic products must be greater than or equal to 95% in order to be labelled, or bear the organic logo. The Canadian Organic Logo and the USDA Organic Logo denote that products using the logo are certified organic.
Organic farming focuses on using fertile soil, along with a variety of crops to preserve healthy growing conditions. The healthy soil is built through compost, manure, cover crops and other natural methods in order for the nutrient rich soil to feed the plants growing from it. Commercial producers often use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, sewage sludge, ionizing radiation and genetically modified organisms when growing their products. It is important to note that the unique microbial life found within the soil provides optimum nutrition to plants. The most commonly proclaimed benefit is that organic food products taste better. Incorporating organic foods into a person’s diet prevents people from ingesting pesticides and insecticides that are commonly found in commercial products and provides high quality nutrients.
Studies have shown on average, organic fruits and vegetables are 30% higher in antioxidants, and, organic products have higher concentrations by 25% of eleven different nutrients than conventionally-grown plants.
Organic food does not only benefit humans, but also the planet. Commercial farms are using pesticides that pollute farm land and water resources, whereas organic farms have completely eradicated the use of chemicals that are polluting the earth. Organic farms work towards conserving soil and water resources by implementing techniques that rely on helpful insects to kill pests, worms and other micro-organisms instead of chemical insecticides. These insecticides are harmful to soil and water resources and are able to remain in them for years. Healthy soil is created by organic farms in many ways: composted manure and plant waste preserve moisture and nutrients, crop rotations promote biodiversity, cover crops prevent weeds, add nutrients and resist erosion.
Working in harmony with the environment is a major goal of sustainable farms. Organic farmers strive to conserve water resources and other natural areas that are affected by the pollutants of commercial farmers. As well, collecting seeds and preserving them to protect biodiversity and encouraging wildlife by respecting the needed balance within the ecosystem. Chemicals used in farming practices ultimately affect animals, birds and insects living in their natural habitats. Rodale Institute performed a recent farming systems trial that concluded organic farms are using 45% less energy than commercial farms. Yet, organic farms are able surpass commercial farms even if the farming season encounters a drought. Organic fruits and vegetables are accessible in plenty of natural varieties; commercial producers create their products in mass handfuls, limiting the variety of each food.
Built on sustainability and growth, organic farming protects humans, animals and the earth. The increased demand for organic food products encourages more farmers to participate in natural farming practices to ensure that the food supply chain is healthy for generations to come!