‘Organic Foods‘ – This term has been hammered into every generally aware person. A good reader will come across an article on Organic Foods at least once every week.
As people are becoming more and more health conscious, healthier options have started to emerge.
But that has actually replaced a problem with another problem!
In India, a decade or two ago, people had never cared about their oversized waist or the accumulated fat in their thighs.
Then, Heart Attacks and similar diseases which were mostly associated with old age started to grip even adolescents and people from their 20s onwards.
This, perhaps, can be attributed to the beginning of adoption of healthy habits by, apart from the usual old aged people, scared young adults as well.
To market their products, organizations started hammering into people’s minds the health quotient of their products and articles related to health started appearing ever so frequently in newspapers and magazines.
And for the same reason, even reading newspapers, magazines and even blogs isn’t helping people to make the right choice, since they are all on pay rolls from manufacturers of these questionably healthy options.
We are here to bust myths and state facts and give honest tips and opinions to take care of your health.
So the general notion or perception is that Organic Foods are healthier than what we generally buy in the market.
But Do People Know..
How Exactly Organic Foods Differ From Regular Foods?
In simple words, crops grown in a manner similar to those grown by the primitive man or even the man who lived 200-300 years before us are organic crops.
The foods derived from such crops are Organic Foods.
So how exactly does the agriculture of then differs from agriculture of now?
- No Use Of Chemical Fertilizers – Using Natural Manures Instead.
- No Use Of Growth Regulators (chemicals that make crops grow in lesser time).
- No Use Of Antibiotics On Livestock (domesticated animals).
- No Use Of Any Technique That Is Artificial And Harmful For The Environment. (For Example, Artificial Pesticides)
Hardly any use of advanced technologies is made, almost no intervention in the growth of crops apart from necessary ones.
All the points above sum up Organic Farming!
Okay, But What Is So Special? What Changes?
Yes! This is the crux of the matter!
Organic Farming and hence Organic Foods are special in so many aspects!
An Obvious point is decreased pesticide, fertilizer and insecticide consumption
Although you try your best to wipe all the dirt off your fruits and vegetables, you still end up consuming traces of it.
So ultimately, traces (of pesticides) + traces + traces … equals considerable amounts of artificial chemicals in your system.
Human body is highly sensitive to these artificial chemicals and while you may not realize, more often than not, stomach upsets, mild or severe headaches etc are your body’s reactions to the consumption of pesticides.
Also, these chemicals are becoming potent day by day due to the increase immunity of the bugs and pests they kill.
A number of foods you eat come from GMOs!
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are genetically modified meaning, have a different DNA structure as compared to the original crops, to increase their survival against pesticides.
Say, there is a non-organic farm growing soy. That soy is a genetically modified version of the original soy which could not withstand pesticides and had to be modified.
While it is a matter of much debate, no conclusive evidence has been found to either completely support or completely reject GMOs.
Man has been eating non-GMO foods for centuries now for survival, and since GMO food has no particular advantage or disadvantage, why take the risk?
More Organic, More Nutrients, Better Health, Lesser Weight!
The more a crop is grown in an organic manner, the more nutrients it can impart to you.
Antioxidants are capable of keeping a lot of diseases at bay along, while Vitamins, Zinc, Iron can improve your immunity, reduce fatigue, improve hemoglobin levels etc.
Also you get fresher produce since the lives of organic crops are less and they cannot survive for long after they have been harvested.
Pat Yourself On The Back!
Yes you should, if you are committed to buying Organic Produce only.
By consuming only Organic Foods, you are keeping the environment clean since an important motive of Organic Farming is not harming the environment as much as possible while growing crops.
You save water, reduce pollution, reduce soil erosion, help keep the soil fertile and a lot more good things by committing yourself and your family to organic foods.
Another Pat, Please!
This one for giving the livestock better lives.
The cattle is not expected to work for impossible number of hours so they are under less stress.
Livestock get better lives as they get better food, better environment which is similar to their natural habitat so that they can roam around.
Use of antibiotics and growth hormones on livestock is forbidden in organic farming.
Farmers Receive Greater Profits!
The business of Organic Foods finds lesser number of middlemen and that rewards the farmers with better income for their hard work.
It is only fair that this should happen since organic farming involves a lot of different techniques (which cost more) as well as requires more time than conventional farming.
The Flip Side!
The world is not all butterflies and rainbows, and Organic Foods are a part of the world!
While the benefits of Organic Foods are really good and mostly legit, here are the problems –
Organic Foods Cost A Fortune!
To give you a rough idea,
Hardly 2% of the total produce in India is organic. Of this, more than 70% is meant for exports to Europe and America.
That leaves less than 0.6% of the total organic produce for Indians! And exclusive stuff is expensive.
Although India has the highest number of Organic Producers, we lag behind by a lot when it comes to organic land and organic produce.
Not only exclusivity, but also the fact that Organic Farming requires a particular skill set that only a few farmers possess, more time, more labor, different storage and handling techniques, techniques like crop rotation need to be applied which is expensive again, better living conditions for the livestock render it an expensive affair.
The above line includes everything that goes against favoring Organic Foods.
While An Expensive Choice, Organic Food Is Also An Excellent Choice!