Organic food is food grown in ways complying with the guidelines of organic agriculture. Organic agriculture is the practice of growing plants and animals in controlled environments without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals. Organic standards vary internationally, but organic agriculture uses practices that restore environmental equilibrium, cycle natural resources, and preserve biodiversity. For example, organic farmers do not use synthetic fertilizers on their crops; instead they allow natural compost to break down naturally.
Pesticides are banned in organic farming, as they deplete soil fertility. Similarly, herbicides are not used because they have the potential to contaminate water sources and create toxins in human beings. Bacteria is also prevented from contaminating food crops with pesticides.
While pesticides are banned, organic farmers can use natural compost to prevent soil erosion, promote soil fertility, and control weeds. They do not use artificial fertilizers because they do not pose environmental risks. On the other hand, synthetic fertilizers can be harmful if consumed. Some pesticides may even have cancer-causing effects. That’s why organic products may be safer for your body.
Organic farming practices involve careful handling, preservation, and storage of food. Food contamination by insect-ants, fungi, bacteria, or viruses is eliminated through the use of proper storage facilities and handling techniques. During transport of organic foods, they are cleaned thoroughly and treated with heat or freezing. During transportation, organic foods undergo further processing to eliminate any residue of pesticides and chemicals.
Another difference between non-organic and organic agriculture lies in the use of machinery. Manures are used to rejuvenate soil fertility. On the other hand, pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used for various purposes that improve crop rotation, produce higher yields, control weeds, or increase crop production. In order to balance the use of manures and pesticides, organic food producers use organic agriculture means like crop rotation, soil regeneration, and crop rotation with organic materials.
Non-organic foods lack several important nutrients that are present in organic foods. These include vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex. Non-organic fruits and vegetables contain considerably less of these nutrients than those found in organic produce. One major reason is the absence of manure. In conventional farming, the produce is fed to animals before it is harvested and then processed. However, in organic food systems, fertilizers and pesticides are not used unless it is a natural means.
Moreover, non-organic foods have a very limited supply. If there is a harvest, the yields will be small. This is mainly because of the lack of fertilizers and pesticides. Thus, it is not possible to meet the needs of the people on a large scale with this type of production.
If you want to eat healthy, choose organic foods. Avoid conventionally grown produce if you can. Do not be fooled by labels that indicate organic foods since they may just be the product of a lab. And most especially, remember to choose organic foods whenever you buy them.
A very significant fact to note when talking about organic farming is that there is no use of chemicals in it. In fact, many organic farming systems do not use the term “fertilisers and pesticides” at all. The use of chemicals in organic farming is limited to very minimal amounts only, and only where essential. One reason is that chemicals can be very harmful to the environment. They can cause damage to the soil, water systems, wildlife, etc.
Sowing seeds is another important issue related to organic farming. Before sowing crops, make sure that the seed has gone through a germination process. This will ensure that the seeds are ready for planting. Also, make sure that the place sown is not too far from its germination point. This will help in avoiding problems relating to pests and rodents.
After sowing the crops, the next step is to harvest them. The best way to do so is to either hand pick the plants, or use a sower. If the crop is hand picked, make sure that the seeds are not damaged. Harvesting using a sower is also good, but it requires a lot of time and effort.
Irrigation is another very important factor which is overlooked a lot of times. Irrigation is used for increasing the fertility of the soil and for keeping the plants fresh. Different types of seeds require different intensities of irrigation, so it is best to know what type of crops you want to grow before going in for irrigation. Simultaneously, avoid spraying the seeds too early as this causes damage to both the plants and the seeds.