Organic Foods: What You Need to Know

The term ‘organic’ gained popularity among farmers in 1940s and they got introduced to new and purely natural ways of farming. These methods avoid the use of manufactured chemicals for the growth of crops. Later in the 1970s, organic foods gained prominence, with increasing public demand for organic foods and products. While most people believe that organic foods are healthier than the usual processed food products, there is no such connection between eating organic foods and good health. Such foods are grown using natural and rather cleaner ways of farming and they reduce your exposure to synthetic pesticides.

What is organic farming?

Organic foods are produced by methods fulfilling the standards of organic farming. These standards may vary in different parts of the world, however, organic farming produces crops and fruits and vegetables, without any use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemical exposure. Farmers make sure that natural ways are used to control pests and weeds. The use of natural fertilizers such as compost is incorporated in organic farming methods and after harvesting, there is be no use of preservatives or artificial chemicals.

This not only conserves biodiversity but also promotes reprocessing and maintain ecological balance.

Types of organic foods:

There are three types of organic foods, you can see that on the product labels while purchasing.

  1. Fully Organic – These food products are 100% organic. Means absolutely nothing artificial or synthetic
  2. Organic – They are 90% organic, which means a little incorporation of synthetic substances. These are processed agricultural products that contain specified ingredients purely natural and with no or very few amounts of synthetics.
  3. Foods that have organic ingredients – Such products contain organic components for example cereals contain organic ingredients and are as much as 70% organic.

Organic farming includes:

  • Plant left-overs on the fields as green manure, livestock manure, or compost, all this improves the soil quality and plant rotation to interfere with the cycles of pests or disease-causing insects.
  • Insulation for weed control.
  • Set-ups to capture insects to curb their actions.
  • Natural pesticides and a few synthetic pesticides approved for crop cultivation by organic methods.

The animals employed in organic farming practices should be provided with:

  • Healthy living environments and outdoor access.
  • Pasture feeding for their nutritional needs especially during nibbling season.
  • Proper and healthy food.
  • Proper Vaccination and immunization shots.

As believed organic foods may have more nutritional values than non-organic ones but this is not always the case. For instance, organic fruits and vegetables have a greater concentration of minerals which is due to the way they are produced. Sometimes, non-organic foods can have more benefits than organic ones. The main difference between organic and non-organic foods is the use of artificial ingredients in the latter. Also, growth hormones, synthetic ingredients, and pesticides, may become a reason of several health problems, however, the doctors are not certain about this, yet. Organic farming methods are eco-friendly as well and produce less pollution, conserve water and other resources, and decreases soil erosion.