How Organic Farming is Beneficial for Biodiversity

Compared to conventional farming, the organic farms studied have showed an empirical 12 percent rise in biodiversity. Not only there are more plant and floral diversity, the land also showed an increase of butterflies, earthworms and insects. The bird population had also risen.

Long term sustainability

Majority of changes observed in environment tend to be long term. They occur slowly over the course of time. When organic farming is done, there are both medium term and long term effects on the agricultural ecosystem. The aim is to produce food and simultaneously establish the necessary ecological balance to prevent pest or soil fertility problems. A proactive approach is taken in the case of organic agriculture.

Soil

Organic practices involve soil building activities like crop rotations, cover crops, minimum tillage, inter-cropping, organic fertilizers and symbiotic associations. Flora and soil fauna are encouraged. Soil formation is improved and stable systems built. There is an increase in energy and nutrient cycling, and the ability of the soil to retain water and nutrients also get enhanced. These compensates for the absence of mineral fertilizers. These management techniques play a vital role in controlling soil erosion. The amount of time of the soil being exposed to the erosivea forces decrease, and soil biodiversity thus increases. There is also a reduction in nutrient losses, and soil productivity is increased.

Use of water

Many agriculture areas see ground water pollution due to addition of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In organic culture, the use of such substances is forbidden. Organic fertilizers are used as substitutes. There is also increased biodiversity, resulting in an enhanced soil structure along with water infiltration. Since organic systems have better retentive capabilities when it comes to nutrients, the groundwater pollution risk is greatly reduced. In a few areas where pollution can pose problems, the conversion to organic culture gets encouraged. It functions as restorative measures.

Change in the climate

The practice of organic farming reduces the use of non-renewable energy by the reduction of agrochemical needs. The greenhouse effect is mitigated by organic farming. Global warming is also reduced by the latter’s ability to sequester carbon in soil. A number of organic farming practices increase carbon return to soil. This favors carbon storage and productivity is raised. The greater the organic carbon gets retained in the soil, the more the agricultural mitigation potential against the climate change.

Biodiversity

The organic farmers can be regarded both as users and custodians of biodiversity. This is applicable at across all levels. The gene level sees adapted and traditional breeds and seeds are preferred for their resilience towards climatic stress and disease resistance. When one comes to the species level, the large combinations of animals and plants optimize energy and nutrient cycling for production of agriculture. The ecosystem level sees natural areas’ maintenance both around and within organic fields. The absence of any chemical additions creates perfectly suitable habitats for the wild-life. Maximum use of the underutilized species reduces agro-diversity erosion. This results in a much healthier and robust gene pool. It becomes the basis for any future adaptation. Pest predators and pollinators play an important role.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Organic farming practices do not allow GMOs at any stage of food production by organic means. It should not be used in handling or processing stages as well. Organic farming encourages natural biodiversity. The organic label thus offers and assurance of GMOs being used intentionally in processing and production of organic products. The mention of GMO in labelling has not enforced in most countries.

Nutritional differences between organic and conventional farming

It is believed that consumers who opt for organically grown foods over conventional ones do for a number of reasons. These include health and environmental concerns over fertilizer and pesticide use in conventional practice. There is also the perceived superior nutritional value of the organic foods. Due to this reason, organic foods are more expensive than their conventional counterparts.

 

Organic agriculture compared to conventional agriculture

Conventional agriculture and organic culture are two different ethos. The basic difference between the two can be summarized as follows:

 

Organic farming

  • Decentralized
  • Community
  • Diversity
  • Independence
  • Harmony with nature
  • Restraint

 

Conventional farming

  • Centralization
  • Competition
  • Specialization
  • Dependence
  • Domination of nature
  • Exploitation

 

Description of organic farming

Organic farming is believed to improve the fertility of soil. This cannot be achieved by conventional farming techniques even if it done following a few ecological principles. Organic farming employs a number of methods like crop rotation, crops integration, inter-cropping, double-digging and mulching. The unique nature of organic agriculture is that there is a near complete prohibition of synthetic input and there is a compulsory rotation of soil building crops.

However, there can be exceptions on the use of synthetics in organic farming. All natural inputs may also not be tolerated. The latter may not only cause harm to human health but also to the environment. A prime example of this is arsenic. A few synthetic inputs can be regarded as essential  and also consistent with the philosophy of organic farming. Insect pheromone is one such example. Even though many farmers only use natural products, this factor would not solely led the crops to be termed organic.

 

Conventional farming

Modern farms have less use of skilled husbandry that was once the guiding principle of making any land a productive one. Stress is laid on productivity. Chemicals are literally poured in to the soil for high productivity and consequent monetary returns. Both of them tend to reduce over period of time. The all important considerations of what will happen to the land, food it produces, individuals who consume it and communities losing out, are overlooked.

Proponents of organic farming have consistently reported a number of beneficial findings like reduced nitrate content, greater amounts of Vitamin C, and also more mineral content like calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron in the organically produced foods. Same findings are reported for green leafy vegetables, strawberries, pears, wheat, peaches and apples.

The problem with comparing organically grown and conventionally produced crops is variability. Innumerable studies were conducted and conflicting results found. This happened due to the variability of the way these studies were designed and then executed. It is thus almost impossible to compare the findings.

The studies have found the presence of more mineral content like calcium, sodium, magnesium and iron in organic foods compared to the conventional foods. This study must be read in light of the fact that a majority of consumers purchase from supermarkets. A lot of variability exists in such conditions. Details like growing conditions, freshness, cultivar and even harvest maturity are ignored. Produces for sale in commercial environments are usually harvested at varying times, stored differently and shipped differently too. All of them affect the nutritional factors of the food meant for consumption.

The result of using fertilizers is an extremely common method of finding the superior quality of organic foods. Manure based and synthetic fertilizers are examined and the crops produced with their help are also taken into account. Use of manure results in greater presence of Vitamin A, C and B12 in a number of crops. It is seen that the phytochemical content in organic produce is also much greater compared to conventionally grown crops.

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.

Sustainable Farming: What is it and What Techniques Does it Involve?

In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development released a report called Our Common Future, also called the Bruntland report. That report defined sustainable development as ‘development that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’

Sustainable farming is an offshoot of sustainable development and it includes a number of practices and techniques that conserve natural resources, prevent pollution and actually make the soil healthier. And all this without loss of nutrients in the crop.

We use sustainable farming practices to grow our crops

We are not a ‘certified organic’ farm, in the traditional sense of the term. But we are also focused on producing clean and high nutrient food. We are happy to say that we use sustainable farming practices to produce this food.

Sustainable farming includes a range of farming techniques that can provide high yields without compromising natural systems and the resources that are required to achieve this productivity. Sustainable farmers don’t struggle with or ignore natural processes. They use current technology and knowledge to avoid the negative consequences of using chemical and industrial based chemicals.

Techniques used in sustainable farming

As a result, sustainable farmers minimize or even eliminate the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, saving money and preserving future productivity and the environment. So what are the most popular sustainable farming practices that farmers might use to achieve the key objectives of pest control, erosion control, weed control and improved soil quality? Here is a small list.

  • Soil enrichment
  • Using natural predators of pests
  • Crop rotation
  • Integrated pest management
  • Cover crops

Soil enrichment – Soil is probably the most important element in an agricultural ecosystem. Healthy soil is teeming with life, including many beneficial microorganisms and insects. But the use of pesticides, insecticides and artificial fertilizers kills them off. Good soil not only improves yields, it also produces crops that are less vulnerable to pests. There are many ways to improve soil health naturally like adding compost, leaving crop residue in the field and more.

Using natural predators of pests – If you look at a farm as an ecosystem and not as a factory, you will see many opportunities for natural pest control. Many insects, spiders and birds are natural predators of plant pests. Using natural predators of pests is an effective way to control pests on a farm. One of the side effects of using pesticides and insecticides on crops is that it also kills off these beneficial insects and spiders.

Crop rotation – Crop rotation means growing different crops at different times in the same field. It is a well known sustainable agricultural practice. Crop rotation prevents the consequences of putting the same crops in the same field year after year. It is also effective in pest control because many pests have a preference for certain kinds of crops and if you grow the same crop again and again, you are just guaranteeing them a stable food suppy and helping to increase their population. Crop rotation also replenishes soil nutients.

Cover crops – Many farmers leave their farms bare between crops so that the soil can replenish itself. But this also has unintended consequences. Planting cover crops like clover and oats can supress weeds, improve the quality of the soil and prevent soil erosion. Planting cover crops also reduces the need for using artificial additives like fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides.

Integrated pest management – Integrated pest management is a method to control pests through an integrated process. In this approach, you have to rely to the largest extent possible, on biological pest management techniques rather than chemical ones. It emphasises pest control through techniques like releasing beneficial insects that kill and eat the pests, introduction of disease fighting microorganisms into the soil and the plants and crop rotation. Once you identify a pest problem, you can respond by releasing sterile males and biocontrol insects like ladybugs. Chemical pestides are a last resort.

We are proud to say that we practice sustainable agriculture in our farm. Due to this, our produce is safer than conventional farm produce, while containing more nutrients too. To learn more, please contact us.

How to Tell if your Organic Food is Really Organic

Let us face it, organic food and non-organic food look the same. A tomato will still look like a tomato whether it is organically grown or otherwise. This opens the scope for people to package and sell non-organic food as organic, charging a higher price for something that is really not worth that much money.

Since you cannot tell organic and organic food apart by looking at them, other checks have been put in place to separate the two. In this article, we will see what these checks are.

Checks to ensure what is called ‘organic’ is really so

Before any farmer can label their produce as ‘organic’, they have to get their farm and process vetted by a government-approved certifier. This ‘certifier’ checks whether the farmer is following all the USDA rules for organic food. The USDA has given three categories for labeling a food as ‘organic’.

  • 100% Organic – If a food is labeled as 100% organic, it means it was grown with 100% organic inputs.
  • Organic – If a food is labeled as ‘organic’, it means it contains at least 95% organic inputs.
  •  Made with organic ingredients – This label is given to those foods with at least 70% organic inputs. There are strict restrictions on the other 30% (like no GMO).

If a food product contains less than 70% organic inputs, it can list the organic inputs on the side. However, it cannot make any ‘organic’ claims on the front side.

Why ‘USDA Organic’ label is important?

The USDA seal ensures that a product has imbibed the quality and integrity it promises. For example, if a product is completely organic (like our vegetables), the farmer can label it as ‘100% Organic’. It can also carry the carry the relevant ‘organic’ label given above.

Organic farms must put organic plans in place and also maintain subsequent records to show compliance with the plan. These farms are inspected every year and even randomly to ensure that they are following the relevant rules.

There are some products that are labeled ‘natural’ or ‘all natural’. It may be a true description, but do not confuse it with ‘organic’. Only a food grown or processed according to USDA organic requirements can be labeled as ‘organic’.

So, if you see a ‘USDA Organic’ label on a product, rest assured that the food produced and/or processed adheres to USDA standards.

Why does organic food cost more?

You may ask why all the fuss about organic food and why does it cost more? First of all organic food is more nutritious than non-organic food, and this has been confirmed by research published in peer-reviewed journals. For example, University of California, Davis researchers have found that organically grown tomatoes have higher levels of vitamin C and phytochemicals compared to non-organic tomatoes.

Organic food also tastes better than non-organic food. More and more gourmet chefs across the country are switching to cooking with organic food because they believe organic food has superior quality and taste.

On the other question (why organic food costs more than conventional food?), you should know that organic food farmers do not get government subsidies that are available to conventional farmers. So organic food reflects the real price of the product. Organic food is more planning and labor intensive.

Finally, organic farms do not benefit from the proportionate saving-in-costs gained by increased production level, since they are usually smaller than conventional farms. We are happy to say that our vegetables are 100% organically grown. To give them a try, please give us a call and we will make arrangements for you.

Why Should Parents Feed Their Children Organic Food

In 2014, Organic Trade Association conducted a survey of 1200 households on the acceptability of organic food in households. All the households had at least one child under the age of 18 years. The survey found a sharp decrease in households for whom the price of organic food was a factor.

According to the survey, just 51% of households were hesitant about buying organic food, against 62% in 2013. It means, parents are willing to pay more for organic food if it means their children will have enhanced heath after eating it.

At this point, you may wonder if organic food actually lives up to the hype or it just propaganda from the organic food industry to make you buy more of it. The truth is, feeding your children organic food is one of the best decisions you can make for their health.

Organic food can reduce your exposure to chemicals drastically

Organic food is free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. It is not irradiated and neither is it grown from genetically modified seeds. Feeding children organic food significantly reduces their exposure to organophosphorus pesticides. Eating organic food also decreases our exposure to pesticides and herbicides.

The Environmental Protection Agency has registered close to 1400 pesticides for agricultural and non agricultural uses and many of these are linked to central nervous system and brain, lug, colon, breast, ovarian and other types of cancers.

We are exposed to many of these pesticides and herbicides on a daily basis, through our food and water. They not only cause cancer, they also affect our hormones, mimicking the effect of estrogen and testosterone.

Children are more sensitive to chemicals than adults

Children are in a growing phase of their life which means they are very sensitive to chemicals of all kinds. They have significantly lower levels of immunity, compared to adults (because their immunity is still developing). They are also exposed to more chemicals than adults because of their low weight.

Another reason why they are more susceptible to chemicals is because they eat more of certain foods than adults. So you can only imagine, how the pesticides and herbicides that enter our body everyday, might affect children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has already given a clarion call against pesticide exposure. In 2012, it wrote, “….children are exposed to pesticides every day and they are uniquely susceptible to their toxicity.” It added, “we are already seeing chronic health conditions emerging due to the acute and chronic exposure to pesticides”.

Unfortunately, pesticides are endemic in the environment. This means, no food is 100% free of pesticides. But it is also true that organic foods have significantly lower levels of pesticides than conventionally grown food.

Chemicals are especially dangerous for pregnant women

Pregnant women should especially eschew conventional food and eat more organic food. Growing fetus are especially vulnerable to chemical exposure and nowhere is the effect more dangerous and dramatic.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital, University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University found that the children of those women who were consistently exposed to higher levels of organophosphorus pesticides when they were pregnant, showed lower IQ levels than their peers when they reached elementary school.

More reasons why you should feed children organic food

Shielding the kid from exposure to chemicals is not the only reason to feed him or her organic food. Organic food is also more nutritious than conventionally grown food. They also have more vitality, making them overall healthier choices than conventionally grown foods.

As the demand for organic food grows, it has become more mainstream. It is no longer limited to specialty food stores. There are even companies that undertake farm-to-kerb supply of organic food, like us. So if you want to order organic food straight from the farm, now you know whom to call.