It’s not just the rich and famous who are switching to organic food for health reasons. More people every day are discovering the many benefits of eating organically grown foods. There is nothing like eating fresh, pesticide-free food. However, if you’ve never tried organically grown products before, you may be wondering what you need to do to make the transition.
Most organic food is food that is grown using methods following the strict standards of organic agriculture. Standards vary greatly world-wide, but organic agriculture still uses practices which rotate nutrients, promote natural balance, conserve biodiversity, and cycle natural resources. The main consideration in organic growing methods is that the use of chemicals is limited and managed as much as possible. Many organic farmers use non-toxic pesticides and fertilizers. This is opposed to conventional farming methods that use high levels of toxic pesticides and insecticides.
When it comes to fertilisers, organically grown produce will be safer than those that come from chemical fertiliser plants. Organic fertilisers don’t pose the same dangers as chemical fertilisers. This is due to the fact that organic food farmers use manure, which contains all the nutrients a vegetable needs to grow. Fertilisers are only used when no other solution has been found.
On an individual level, crop rotation is an important part of organic food production. In non-organic farming, farmers only plant certain types of crops over again. This causes the soil to become depleted and makes it more difficult to maintain an optimal environment for crops. In organic agriculture, crop rotation is done differently, wherein fields are replaced over again.
The reason crop rotation is done is to ensure the nutrients in the soil, air, and water are maintained. By working with nature, farmers have the ability to mimic what occurs naturally in order to create a healthier and more natural environment. In turn, these nutrients are passed on to consumers through organic standards certification. Consumers are assured they are getting exactly what they purchase.
A major issue with non-organic products is the source of their ingredients. There are many places where chemicals and pesticides are used that are not considered organically produced ingredients. Some of the worst ingredients found in non-organic products are sodium benzoate, Balsam of Peru, Potassium sorbate, and lignosan. These substances are banned in Europe because they have been found to cause cancer and other ailments. Because of this, many companies do not even bother using them, as they would rather save money rather than put their name on such harmful chemicals.
The United States does not require that organic be sold as a fresh crop. Organic foods are only certified if they are processed and finished up in such a way that they meet the requirements of the USDA. This means, anything that has been grown organically and then treated with pesticides and other banned substances can be certified organic. It is virtually impossible for something to be certified as organically grown and processed if it has been subjected to these prohibited substances. If this is the case, it is best to skip organic food altogether and invest in a non-organic product.
Unfortunately, there are no federal regulations in the US with regards to organic food processing and certification. Many companies will claim that they use certified organic ingredients in their products. However, in reality all of the ingredients in such foods are potentially harmful. For instance, even though some companies will state that their products are free of pesticides and other chemicals, these chemicals still remain in the soil that the crops are grown in. This means that the crops themselves contain traces of these chemicals.