Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. For most of human history, foods were organic, but this started changing in the 1940’s with the advent of industrial agriculture. The Green Revolution (organic food), than arose in the 1940’s in response to this.
There is much talk from large food companies of how non-organic foods are just as safe, nutritious and much cheaper than organic foods. This is not only not true, but it is an out and out lie!
We live in a world where people want the foods that they want, now. It doesn’t matter if the food is not in season nor it does not matter if our farming methods have become so commercialized that foods no longer have the vitamins and minerals which our bodies need to maintain our health, we want it now, and the commercialized food industry is all to willing to listen to us.
While organic food products have increased their market share in the past decade, only a relatively small percentage of people in many countries around the world consume organic food with any degree of regularity. In this mix are included people who utilize organic food supplement products. Because of the inherent benefits of organic food, there are ample reasons why organic food should be promoted in the 21st century. Indeed, the benefits that can be derived from a more complete transition to organic agriculture warrant a broad and expansive promotional program internationally.
There are numerous reasons associated with personal health that warrant the promotion of organic food products. The benefits of eating organic food truly run the gambit and all warrant a broader market share on the part of consumers everywhere. One of the most compelling reasons that organic food should be promoted widely rests in the fact that these products are free of the chemical residues that infest conventionally grown and raised food products.
Organic agriculture and organic gardening precludes the usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides in the production of food products. Consequently, these fruits and vegetables go to market free of any chemical residue that otherwise would end up being ingested by people eating these products.
The same holds true for organically raised livestock. These animals are fed only organically produced grains and other products. As a result, the meat products that are derived from these animals is free of the possibly harmful chemicals associated with conventional farming practices.
If the health benefits of organic agriculture and organic gardening were not enough to warrant and support the widespread promotion of these products, a consideration of the beneficial effect organic farming and organic gardening can and does have on the environment should spur the marketplace forward.
A significant amount of research has been undertaken in regard to organic farming and organic gardening practices and the positive impact these agricultural regimens have on the environment. First and foremost, organic agricultural practices result in the lessening of the amount in soil and water of harmful chemical residues from herbicides, insecticides and synthetic fertilizers. These chemicals remain ingrained (quite literally) in soil for years and leach into water systems causing further short and long term damage. Additionally, it has been demonstrated time and again that organic agricultural practices work to lessen soil erosion to a very significant degree.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed.
Any product labeled as organic must be USDA certified. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification; however, they’re still required to follow the USDA’s standards for organic foods.
If a food bears a USDA Organic label, it means it’s produced and processed according to the USDA standards. The seal is voluntary, but many organic producers use it.
Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods — are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry the USDA seal. Products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients may say “made with organic ingredients” on the label, however, this, in reality, means that they are not organic!
One common concern with organic food is cost. Organic foods are typically said to cost more than do their conventional counterparts. Higher prices are due, in part, to more expensive farming practices.I totally disagree with this, because when you eat organically, you eat less food as you are getting more nutrition. In the long run, eating organic food is much cheaper. Another reason it is cheaper is because it is so much healthier, meaning less illnesses, less visits to the doctors and hospitalizations. This alone brings the cost down dramatically. Do you realize how much less money would be needed to be spent on health care if we all heat in a healthy manner? It is pretty well known from numerous studies that probably 90% of all illnesses are lifestyle related. (did you know that ancient Egypt flourished for thousands of years, yet after numerous analysis of mummies, they have yet to find any signs of cancer or other modern day illnesses!
Okay, now some of you believe that eating organic foods means eating lettuce sandwiches your entire lives, nothing could be farther from the truth. the next blog will contain many organic recipes, but to summarize:
Top 5 Reasons for Going Organic
1. Protect Future Generations
Kids are four times more likely to be exposed to cancer-causing pesticides in food than adults.
2. Promote Biodiversity Planting
The same type of plant (crop) is often planted in a GMO field year after year after year, and the lack of natural diversity of plant life in these fields has negatively affected soil quality.
3. Organic production reduces health risks
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.
4. Organic producers strive to preserve diversity
The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.
5. Protect Water Quality
Water makes up two thirds of our body mass and covers three fourths of the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates pesticides, some cancer causing, contaminate the groundwater in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population.
By the way here are some famous people who eat organically and are also vegetarians. Well talk more about being a vegetarian in a future blog.
Perhaps one of the most famous is Paul McCartney, he certainly looks pretty good for almost 70 years old and can still sing like a kid!
Dan Castellaneta (Voice of Homer Simpson)
and the list goes on and on.