From early times, we are being told by our mothers, nutritionists and doctor that fresh fruit and vegetables are best for our health. They are filled with vitamins and minerals which are essential for our health. It means, fruits and vegetables we eat directly affect our health. It also effect on the functioning of our body.
But the fruit and vegetable, which we are buying from the market, is really fresh? Whenever we are going to buy fruits and vegetables from market or supermarket, we can see two types of every fruit and vegetable. One is marked with organic and another is without any mark called conventional but looks great, fresh and smells good. It will confuse us what will we choose to buy? Organic, which is free from chemical, or conventional in which chemical is used?
- Let’s go back to early times, was there any word like Organic in early times?
- Did our Forefather know anything about Organic farming or food?
- What do our great-grandparents like to eat?
Most probably, they like to eat fresh, vine ripped and juicy fruits and vegetables which were grown in nutrient soil, fresh water and warmed by sunshine. At that time, fruits and vegetables were grown by local farmers without saying it fresh, natural and organic. They used to eat the food according to seasons came and end. Before 1900, all food items were organically grown, but farmers and shopkeeper did not call it by name as they knew that these are from local farmers and grown with care, love and purity. There was no reason to be concerned about purity and pollution.
The British Botanist Sir Albirt Howard is known as the Father of Modern Organic Agriculture, to apply first time modern scientific knowledge in Organic Agriculture instead of Traditional agriculture. But he was not alone. Lord Northbourne, who first used the term “organic farming” in his 1940 book “Look to the Land“.
But, Later the term “Organic” was popularized by J. I. Rodale in 1940, when the demand of food increased in the market due to the continuous increased population. At that time. It was needed to grow lots of food in hurry. So they were using chemical sprays to kill pests and plant disease. They also used artificial flavoring and preservatives, to make food lasts longer and maintain them eye-catching. J.I. Rodale grew crops without any chemical in 1940 and started sharing his philosophy in 1942. He even warned that using of pesticides and artificial fertilizers would pollute our land, lake, river and air.
What is Organic Food?
Organic food is free from artificial and food additives like artificial sweetness, color and flavor. Organic food only contains organic ingredients. The procedure to create organic food does not contain the use of Pesticides, Fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. Organic foods may contain natural fertilizers like manure for the plant growth. Organic food from the animal is also raised without any antibiotics and hormones.
Organic farming improves soil quality as well as the level of groundwater. It also reduces pollution and may be better for the environment.
Organic crop farming May Include:
- Plant waste left on fields which are called green manure and livestock manure are used to improve soil quality
- Compost to improve soil quality.
- Plant rotation to preserve soil quality.
- Mulch to control weeds.
- Predatory insects or insect traps to control pests.
- Certain natural pesticides and a few synthetic pesticides approved for organic farming, which can be used rarely or only as a last resort.
- Organic foods for animals
How can we define that Organic food is Healthier?
Organic means the process which is used to produce the particular food. From last few years, Organic food has taken a place in the market. People are using organic food on a large scale, without knowing that is it really organic or not? If we are going to buy some food from market, we even cannot find the difference in organic food and conventional food. Both look same by color, size and also in smell. We cannot get the difference without label, then how will we get the difference?
The popularity has been increased for last few years. People think that organic food is safer, healthier than the conventional food. Some people also think that it is also good for environment, human health and also for animals. The most important reason behind the increased popularity could be the belief about the product is its healthier properties and nutrition values which are promoted by Organic food industries. It has increased its demand in the market in spite of its high prices.
Some reasons to use Organic Food:
- It avoids chemicals in crops and avoids hormones, antibiotics and drugs in animal products.
- Health benefit with more nutrients.
- Enjoy better taste.
- It avoids GMO (genetically modified organisms are novel organisms created in a laboratory using genetic modification).
- It preserves our ecosystems and agricultural diversity.
- It reduces pollution and protects water and soil.
But there is not any strong proof which can prove that organic food gives health benefits than the regular food. Because there are also other products in market like processed organic food and organic junk food. Processed organic food has also less nutrients and high in sugar, fat and calories. Junk food is still junk food whether it is organic or regular.
We need to classify organic food in better way and make them really organic.
References : http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/top-reasons-choose-organic-foods