Major Differences between Sustainable and Organic

Sustainable and organic are not interchangeable. Other than defining what organic food is, no official rules are present to make sure that organic food production or the organic farmers follow ecologically sound practices.

If you are part of the organic industry or simply interested in the organic way of life, it is wise to know about the restrictions of organic certification. You must be independently able to distinguish sustainable food and organic food. This will ensure that you can buy or sell organic food with confidence and can also educate in detail the interested organic consumers.

Sustainable is measurable but not official

The government certifies organic food. It does not certify whether a particular food item is sustainable or not. There is no official policy on this. The unofficial majority view is that sustainability is a kind of philosophy which describes actions taken to protect the planet. It could also be continued for an indefinite period of time without causing any kind of damage to the environment.

Do note that it is not possible to label any particular food as a “sustainable” one. Sustainable farming cannot be described as a philosophy. It can be measured and observed via social benefits and economic profit for a community. Environmental conservation is achieved.

Sustainable means small

The idea of sustainability means less is invariably more. It encompasses not only the farmland but also the things that one owns, including the home. Less land could be cultivated by a sustainable farmer for the growing of diverse crops. The soil quality is enhanced and land resources are conserved. It could mean that the farmer with an interest in sustainable farming could experiment with the vertical planting method or permit animals to graze away on cropland so that space could be saved.

In contrast, excess land could be used by the organic farmer and resources can be wasted. There are no government strictures on this aspect.

Sustainable and water efficiency

Government policies do not state that farmers must conserve the water resources. Sustainable processing and farming techniques try to conserve water as much as possible. Water could even be reclaimed for a few crops. There could be the planting of drought-resistant crop species and the usage of irrigation systems following reduced volume methods. Governments are not averse to allow reclaimed water for watering the crops.

Sustainable and energy efficiency

A majority of modern farms, including organic farms, along with food processing units are extremely dependent on petroleum and other non-renewable energy sources. In contrast, sustainable food processors and farmers understand that non-renewable energy cannot be used forever. Energy must be conserved now, and not in the later time. Please note that a sustainable food system could be partially dependent on a number of alternative energy sources like water, wind, and solar based power.

Sustainable and low emission

If you want to help in lower emissions, then sustainable food,and not organic, is the best way to go. This is because organic certification does not cover a number of issues like fossil fuel to be used for food transport or food production. A number of organic companies and organic food companies ship their organic food thousands of miles from the farm to the warehouse and then to the store and to the customer.

The ideal solution, in this case, is to eat organic food that is locally grown. This can be optimal for low emissions and good health. It is not possible for organic food to compete with sustainable food grown locally. It can only do so if the food is transported in vehicles other than fossil fuel consuming trucks.

These 5 foods should be bought only organic

Hard decisions await you at the grocery store. The moment you step in, you are carpet bombed with a large number of buying choices. The strawberry carton looks inviting or your children desperately want that particular brand of sugary cereal. There is also the all important dilemma of whether you should buy organic or conventional produce. There is rising evidence that organic farming means safer and much more nutrituous produce, meat and dairy. Organic food, however, comes at a price. It can be quite expensive and it is impossible to eat organic all the time. You should buy five organic items from the supermarket. They are fully worth their higher price.

Apples

Among fruits, apples are found to contain the highest concentration of pesticides. This is common across the world-even in places where pesticides are used in lesser amounts. The latter come into the picture as they are used to prevent a number of pests and disease incidents. There is also the superficial aesthetic value factor of the apple fruit. Consumers tend to prefer perfectly shaped and unblemished apples. This means the farmer must take extra precautions so that a photogenic fruit is placed in the display row of any fruit shop or supermarket. If you love apples, and eat a single apple or more every day, it makes excellent sense to buy organic. Chemical levels are much lower in organic produce.

Leafy greens

Spinach, collard, lettuce and kale are a must buy in your organic list. Leafy green produce, like apples, contain pesticides in higher amounts. The cause is the same: customers prefer produce which look good to the eye, independent of whether it is good or not. It means that there should be no holes in leaves. People associate leaves with bugs which supposedly have eaten the leaves. To prevent this, farmers engaged in conventional farming spray pesticides on the crop. The result appears tasty and fresh on the outside but full of chemicals on the inside. If you love salads, then you must go organic to reduce your pesticide consumption. Do remember that insects may already have bitten into the food you just ate.

Berries

Berries in the northern hemisphere are harvested during summer months but mostlt consumed during winter time. This is made possible by importing them from countries with warmer climates. These countries may have much laxer regulations related to farming and harvesting. It thus makes sense to buy organic berries when the local varieties cannot befound. Since the organic berries are smaller than their conventional counterparts, they tend to be in larger quantities within the carton. One unexpected benefit is that since there are more number of berries in any container due to their smaller size, you will eat more of the antioxidant rich skin than their larger conventionally grown counterparts.

Meat

Conventional farming means many animals crammed into small spaces. It means a much higher disease risk. No wonder animals are plugged full of medications and antibiotics so that stay in good health. Orientation is towards preventing the disease rather than treating the animal. Organic meat is that meat taken from animals which are not permitted to consume antibiotics and synthetic feed additives. A requirement of a certain quantity of vegetable or grass product must be included in the diet of the livestock during all times. Grass fed animals provode meat which has a higher concentration of CLA or conjugated linoleic acid. This is a fatty acid that is believed to boost the immune action and also reduce the deposits of body fat.

Dairy

Cattle raised in conventional farms are imprisioned in holding pens or barns. Organic dairy, on the other hand, means that farmers put their organically raised cows to pasture as much as possible so that they graze on grass. CLA content is higher in organic milk. Antibiotics and other medication ingestion are strictly regulated when the animal becomes ill.

You should always look for the organic logo for buying a superior and safe product. They must be compliant will all relevant standards.

You should Feed your Pets Organic Food

If you follow an organic lifestyle, then you understand the beneficial role an all natural pesticide-free diet provides to your body. Not only you, many people who have made the switch to organic foods have reported a notable boost in the energy levels. Complexions improve noticeably and rashes go away. Individuals following an organic lifestyle suffer less from allergies and colds. Recovery from illness is also much quicker. Long term benefits are also seen.

Many pet owners now wonder whether an organic diet will benefit their pets. All owners want their pets to be healthy and happy. The high price of an organic pet diet, however, deters them. As a pet owner, you should be aware of the numerous benefits of providing organic food.

Reduction of allergies and skin ailments

If your pet suffers from an irritating skin condition or an allergy, it can be assumed that you have tried anything and everything to give your pet relief. You have already tried special dips, medications, shampoos, and creams. Premium brands have minimal effect on the condition. You can now try the option of feeding the pet organic food. The all-natural food could provide your pet with an excellent chance of tackling allergies and skin infections for a longer term. Organic products are free from flavor enhancers and artificial colors. They also do not have toxic pesticides and chemical additives. Organic food has quality protein and has high nutritional value. The immune system of your dog is also benefited. It helps to build resistance to skin infections.

Reduction of digestive disorders

Organic food is more digestible to your pet as the grains are of superior quality. They contain more proteins and lack artificial substances. In case your pet vomits occasionally post meals or suffer from diarrhea, gas or bloating, it is a good idea to consult a veterinarian. If nothing is found, then feed your pet a completely organic diet. The improvements will be noticeable pretty soon, which can solely be attributed to better nutrition. Your pet will start eating in a healthy way. The food will also taste better to your pet. It will exercise more and lose weight. Bowel movements will also become more predictable, and the stool will become less smelly.

Organic meats also have the advantage of being at less risk from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Resistance towards antibiotics is the result of the commercial livestock industry. The animals are fed low-level antibiotics so that they fetch better prices. The bacterial resistant strain can transfer this resistance to bacteria which can cause disease in humans, as well as in pets.

Robust immunity and better health

Even if your pet is free from skin ailments, digestive problems or obesity, an organic diet can still be beneficial. Organic products always have a much better nutritional value even compared to premium pet non-organic brands. It is also much more digestible. As they are more digestible, pets will absorb more nutrients than those offered by a conventional diet. Boosting the pet’s immunity could help to prevent the costly illnesses and infections which need veterinarian care.

Longevity and a better quality of life

It is well known that quality of diet affects the quality of life. The food you feed your pet has a correlation with its appearance. It will also affect its behavior. When you feed your pet organic food, that will ensure that your pet lives a long, healthy, and happy life. Your pet will be bouncy or healthy-looking, and will have a good weight. The life expectancy of your pet will be extended naturally.

This should be your biggest reason to go organic

Organic means partnering with nature- and not against it. Organic farming means better animal welfare and much less utilization of pesticides. There are no commercially made herbicides or the use of any artificial fertilizers. The land is more sustainably managed and a natural environment created. This means greater number of wildlife.

When you buy an organic product, from delicious carrots to sturdy bamboo, you automatically opt for a better quality of life.

Going the organic way is much easier than what is believed to be. Food, textile, health and beauty products made the organic way are carefully monitored for authenticity by recognized specific quality certification institutions.

However, among a multitude of reasons, the biggest reason for adapting the organic lifestyle is your health. Your well-being should be your primary priority. When you opt for an organic diet, you opt for a lifestyle free from harmful chemicals. Your food has more taste and nutrition. It is the best way to regain health.

No chemicals

When you eat organic, you avoid the slow poison of chemicals that are a constant in food sold commercially. It is seen that about 600 active chemicals are approved for agriculture use. The chemical companies make a profit of billions of dollars every year by selling their products. It is calculated that the average person consumes 16 pounds of pesticides every year. Many such chemicals get approved by the right government authority before they make their first appearance in the shops.

It is observed that about 90 percent of those approved chemicals were not subjected to testing for health effects if consumed for longer term. A meager one percent of foods were tested for pesticide residue. Many powerful pesticides need special testing techniques, which are occasionally used by the testing authority.

More nutrients

Organic foods contain more nutrients. They have greater amounts of vitamins, micronutrients, minerals and enzymes compared to commercially grown fods. This is because the soil is nourished and also managed through sustainable practices. Repeated studies have shown that nutritional values of organically grown vegetables and fruits is much more in the organic foods crops. These studies have also revealed that five servings of any organically grown vegetables like lettuce and potatoes provide the adequate quantity of vitamins while greater quantities of the conventionally grown vegetables are needed.

On an average, foods which are grown by organic methods offer 21.1 percent more iron, about 27 percent more vitamin C, about 13.6 percent more phosphorus and about 29.3 percent more magnesium compared to conventionally grown produce.

Better taste

It is a known fact that organic crops are much better tasting. This is because the plants and animals are well nourished. The soil is balanced and thus produce strong and healthy plants. They also look healthier.

No Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs

Earth is getting contaminated by Genetically Engineered (GE) foods. The GMOs are quickly contaminating the food supply. Organic food is free from such interference. It is the only way through which you can stay away from genetically modified foods.

No drugs, hormones and antibiotics in food products

Standard dairy and meat products are at a greatest risk of contamination. An overwhelming 90 percent of pesticides consumed are available in the tissue and fat of dairy and meat products. Meat contributes the maximum to your pesticide intake. Fish, dairy products and eggs are also massive contributors as they are higher up on the food chain. Pigs, cows and chickens are fed by-products of animal products and grains saturated with chemicals and toxins. Growth hormones, antibiotics and drugs directly enter into dairy and meat products.

Myths about Organic Food – the Need for Clarity

When you start reading about organic food, you’ll come across a mountain of information that debates the importance and nutritional value of these foods. People have scrutinized every aspect of organic food, from their nutritional benefits to whether they are good for the world. It can be a lot of information to take in. To make it easier to understand organic food, it’s important that you see through the myths and misinformation regarding the topic. To help make things clearer for you, here are some common myths about organic food.

  1. Organic food is not necessarily healthy for us
    More often than not, a lot of people remain convinced that organic food is truly not significantly more nutritious than regular food. There have been studies which have revealed that some organic food does not contain higher nutritional value than conventional food stuff, but there are research studies which have proven otherwise as well. Some people are on the fence regarding this topic, so it is hard to come to an absolute conclusion with scientific evidence supporting both answers.
  2. Organic foods are too heavy on the pocket
    Unfortunately, this fact is partially true. Some organic food items can be rather expensive, but there is plenty of organic food stuff you can get in your local market that is very affordable. Some organic food items are sometimes cheaper than your conventional food. Expensive organic foods are pegged with higher price tags because it costs more to produce the yield. A lot of care and maintenance is involved in producing organic food. Even though the cost of processing is almost eliminated, the overall maintenance can be rather high. This eventually causes an increase in the price of the end product.
  3. Pesticides are okay for humans
    The ill-effects of pesticides on the human body and the environment cannot be stressed enough. They are poisonous to our systems, they can damage crops, they pollute water bodies, and they remain in the soil for decades, even centuries. If you ingest pesticides, they remain in your system and build up over the years slowly harming your body and decreasing your immunity. Most conventional crops are exposed to pesticides in farms, which is why they are more dangerous to us. However, organic farmers are also allowed to use naturally occurring pesticides, but in limited quantities. They use this only when other preventive measure to protect their crops fail.
  4. Natural, locally-grown, and free range are the same as organic food
    When you’re buying food at your market, it’s important you read the labels. In most cases, you should know that you’re not really getting what you’re expecting. Labels on food products which say natural, locally grown, or free-range do not necessarily mean they were organically grown. Organic foods have their own labels and are grown under different conditions.
  5. Organic farming will not solve the world’s hunger
    This is one of the most common slogans people bring up when they’re trying to dismiss organic farming and foods. It is true that organic farming and raising livestock using organic means takes longer than conventional methods and is also more expensive, long-term trials have shown that organic farming methods have begun producing the same quantities of yield as conventional methods. Organic farming has also resulted in improved soil quality and prevention of soil erosion. So, yes, organic farming, over time, can indeed feed the world and solve global hunger issues while improving our environment at the same time.

Besides the myths mentioned above, there are several other misconceptions people have regarding organic food and farming. It’s always best to educate oneself before reaching a conclusive decision. Learn more about organic food, its benefits and how it can improve your health, life, and the entire environment.