Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers; pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria & yeast insect plants fish & mammals.
Difference between Organic and Natural Food
People usually think that there is no difference between organic and natural food and that both mean the same. However, this is not true. If you compare organic and natural from their definitions, the difference will be quite clear.
Organic food refers to food items that are produced, manufactured and handled using organic methods defined by local authorities under Organic Food Products Acts. Natural food, on the other hand, generally refers to food items that are not altered chemically or synthesized in any form. These are derived from plants and animals. Thus a natural food item is not necessarily organic and vice versa.
• Grown with natural fertilizers (manure, compost);
• Weeds are controlled naturally (crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling);
• Pests are controlled using natural methods (birds, insects, traps); and naturally-derived pesticide;
• Organic meat, dairy, eggs;
• Livestock are given all organic, hormone- and GMO-free feed;
• Disease is prevented with natural methods such as clean housing, rotational grazing, and healthy diet.
• Livestock must have access to the outdoors.
Organic Farms are Gentler on the Environment
Massive, commercial farms erode the soil, harm or displace wildlife, and deplete nutrients from the ground. Huge industrial farms have been known for their cruelty to animals. Having a farm like organic vegetable garden is a rewarding, earth-friendly process that benefits all life on the planet and provides healthy, delicious and nutritious food for us
Organic Food: The shelf life of organic food is more than that of natural food, implying that you can store it safely for a longer duration.
Natural Food: Since it is minimally processed, many food items which have high water content have a subsequently shorter shelf life.
Organic food is being sold in almost every major supermarket. There are even specialty stores selling organic food exclusively and one can purchase it online as well.
Natural food is available at many stores that sell organic food. There are some specialty stores that sell natural food. Furthermore, many stores selling health food items also sell natural food products. It is a vastly growing market.
Buy Organic Meat, Eggs, and Dairy if you Can
While prominent organizations such as the American Heart Association maintain that eating saturated fat from any source increases the risk of heart disease; other nutrition experts maintain that eating organic grass-fed meat and organic dairy products doesn’t carry the same risks. It’s not the saturated fat that’s the problem, they say, but the unnatural diet of an industrially-raised animal that includes corn, hormones, and medication.
Why is Organic Food often more Expensive?
Organic food is more labour-intensive since the farmers do not use pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or drugs. Organic certification is expensive and organic feed for animals can cost twice as much. Organic farms tend to be smaller than conventional farms, which means fixed costs and overhead must be distributed across smaller produce volumes without government subsidies.
Ten Good Reasons to buy Organic
1. STRICT STANDARDS: Organic food meets strict standards that are your assurance it is healthy and safe to eat;
2. CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES: Organic farming does not use the chemicals and pesticides that are routinely used in non-organic food production;
3. ANIMAL WELFARE: Animal welfare is a priority for organic farmers and all animals are reared on grassland which is entirely free of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Animals have free range and adequate living space and bedding so you can rest assured that an organic animal has had a good life;
4. HEALTHY SOIL: Organic farmers ensure that they maintain a healthy soil to pass on to future generations by incorporating methods such as rotations and adding natural fertility such as green manures or farmyard manure;
5. WATER QUALITY: Organic farms preserve our valuable resources as no pollutants are released into our waterways;
6. BIODIVERSITY: Studies have shown that organic farms support a greater number of species than non-organic farms;
7. ENERGY: Organic farms do not apply artificial chemicals and fertilizers which are by-products of the fossil fuel industry. Instead organic farming methods increase soil carbon and therefore reduce greenhouse gases. Organic farming can directly contribute to reducing our emissions and therefore reducing the impact of climate change;
8. GM: Organic farming prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms;
9. TASTE: many people genuinely believe that organic food tastes better!;
10. GOOD FOR NATURE - GOOD FOR YOU!
The Future of Organic Foods
Since the advantages of organic food are becoming more well-known and wide-spread, the demand has increased throughout the world. Right now organic food vending machines are becoming more and more popular. The demand for organic goods (not only foods, but clothing, body products, house wares, etc.) has gone up considerably in the recent past. Advantages of organic food range from health benefits to environmental rewards.
The term 'organic' refers to the way foods are grown and processed. The organic way of farming maintains and replenishes fertility of the soil so it’s not depleted and over-farmed. Pesticides and toxic fertilizers are not used for organic farming. Seventy percent of all organic food is organic fruits and vegetables; the rest is organic meats and dairy products.
There is the saying, “You are what you eat”. Many people wonder, why eat poisons and toxins if you don’t have to? Pesticide residue has been found in not only produce, but also breads, baby food and even human breast milk. Not only are there physical benefits to eating organic foods, there are also emotional benefits.
* He has 25 years experience in hospitality industry working with international hotels brands such ass Hilton Radisson Le Meridien Lalit hotels. Currently he is working in Hotel Seven Seas Delhi. He is passionate about food safety and related topics.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this article is based on research done in the last months and the author’s personal experience and opinion. It is not intended to represent the view of any organization or manufacturer he works for or collaborate with. The author will not be held liable for the use or misuse of the information provided in the article.