How To Understand Organics:
So what's the deal with 'Organic Food'? How is it different to 'normal' food and why does it matter?
These are all very understandable questions and certainly relevant when you are considering your food choices and your weekly spending budget. On the surface, organic food seems to be a passing trend that's purely a marketing scheme for food companies to capitalize on. Because of this, many people see organic food to be more expensive than the alternative choice, and as we've said already... on the surface, it certainly seems to be.
BUT when you dig a little deeper and scratch beneath the surface to find out more information about organic vs non-organic food, it's plainly obvious to us which option is truly more expensive to us as people but also to our environment. To understand this, we urge you to think about the true cost of food, therefore, not solely on it's monetary value, and more so on the nutritional value it holds, the farming process and the manufacturing impact it has on the world around you.
So... What is Organic Farming?
Essentially, organic farming is the way that farming has been done for centuries past. It isn't just about the end product, it's about prolonging the life and the richness of the soil so that future generations to come can also enjoy the naturally grown food we have today. Understandably, this goes hand in hand with respecting the environment and reducing the impact that the farming process has on the surrounding environment. By doing this, the farmers are helping the soil to replenish it's nutrients naturally so that it can get cracking once again to produce some more delicious greens for us all to cover our plates with.
In a nutshell, organic farming regulators prohibit the use of:
- Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides;
- Growth regulators and livestock feed additives;
- Irradiation and genetically modified organisms (gmo's).
And instead, organic farmers focus their efforts on:
- Working in harmony with nature to build and help protect the environment;
- Building soil fertility through natural fertilizers and other soil building practices;
- Having a diversity of flora and fauna, that encourages natural predators and maintains an ecological balance (using cover crops and crop rotation);
- Decreasing pollution throughout the entire farming process;
- Producing nutrient packed and chemical free foods.
Okay... but how does this differ from non-organic farming?
Simply put... non-organic farming, or 'conventional' farming, is the exact opposite to farming organically. Conventional farmers use artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides, GMO's and many other additives in their practice in order to aid them increase the yield of their crops. By increasing the yield of their crops, the farmers can then reduce the price of the food they are selling simply due to economies of scale making it more affordable for people to buy. Farmers can also focus on monocropping - the farming method of growing only a single crop over acres and acres of land, year after year. It is said that this form of farming will therefore, require less land to be taken up by farming whilst still being able to produce high yields of crops.
Farmers using less land and producing cheaper food? Surely that's a good thing - why are you saying to support organic farming? We hear ya... but listen up...
Many of the chemicals and GMO's used in conventional farming inhibit the nutritional value of the crop and also show to leave chemical residue on the actual produce itself. These chemicals are then consumed by the people who purchase these products and, although there is no definite evidence yet, there is a heavy weight against there being a benefit to these chemicals being in our bodies and our foods. We have to remember that these chemicals were introduced to the farming industry less than a hundred years ago and so researchers and scientists are only recently able to even start exploring the long term effects. However, if we cast our eyes over the rises in cancer rates and other global health issues, it's hard not to make a correlation between the two. So in terms of what you are buying... do you really want to be spending your pocket money on lower nutrient foods containing potentially dangerous chemicals? Why take the risk? Eat Clean.
In addition to this, we ask you to also consider the environmental impacts that conventional farming has on the environment. Unfortunately, the vast majority of chemicals that are used are water soluble, meaning that they dissolve in water and can therefore very easily enter into the water table. This can have exponential effects on ecosystems and to us people who actually need water to survive. It is shown that these chemicals reduce the fertility and the richness of the soil meaning that higher concentrations are needed in order to continue farming this way. This is not naturally sustainable and should it continue, we may lose the entire fertility of our soil.
Therefore, we plant our magic beans in support of organic farming so that we can eat nutrient dense foods, help save our soils, and reduce the harm spread by the chemicals used in conventional farming. We urge you to join us in the support of organic farmers so that we can all help the farmers benefit from economies of scale, therefore, making the price of organic food more affordable to everyone. At the end of the day, we find that spending a few extra bucks every week on organic produce is really not the more expensive option and those extra coins go a lot further than you would think. Vote with your dollar and help us work towards a more sustainable future.
Want to know more? Check out how you can Eat Organic on a Budget.
We are not academic experts on organics and organic farming but we serve a very keen interest into the practice and live our life supporting it, which is why we want to share the information we've found out with you. We don't claim to 'know everything' and are still exploring the subject ourselves and so we urge you dig deeper yourself for more information.