What is organic farming?
Organic farming is production management that mostly excludes the utilization of unnatural or synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, genetically modified organisms (GMO), and cattle food additives.
The distinction between organic and standard farming/agriculture is in the origin of the products fertilizers and pesticides used.
- In organic farming, pesticides and fertilizers should be of “natural origin,” i.e., they need to be products found in natural materials.
- However, in standard agriculture, they can be artificial, i.e., produced in laboratories.
Thus, organic farming uses a high degree of biodiversity with environmental practices that conserve natural resources and have ultra-careful animal welfare standards.
Benefits of organic farming
Organic farming has multiple environmental benefits:
- It helps to maintain environmental health by minimizing the level of pollution.
- It ensures optimum utilization of natural resources and helps in conserving them for future generations.
- It improves soil health: physical and chemical properties of soil are improved.
As harmful chemicals are prohibited in organic farming, there is very less water, air, and soil pollution, establishing a healthier and safer environment.
Health-related benefits of organic farming are more popular than environment-related benefits:
While environmental benefits are many, there are some significant health-related benefits of organic farming that cannot be ignored.
In an independent poll conducted by Velocity Healthcare, 63% of respondents agreed that organic farming offers a healthy food option as it is rich in nutrients.
It’s quite interesting to find that among the various environmental and health-related benefits of organic farming – only a fifth (22%) of respondents associated the benefit of conserving mother earth with organic farming.
Even on checking about various activities that help to save our planet Earth – adopting organic farming was cited by 5% of respondents only.
At the same time, a total of 60% of respondents confessed that switching to organic foods and eating food with high fibre content is way to a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the established health-related benefits of organic farming are:
High nutritional content: Organic foods contain very high nutritional content because they do not contain modified or artificial ingredients compared to conventional agricultural food products. The vitamin and mineral contents of organically grown food products are always high as the soil life and health they are produced offer the most suitable environment for crops to access soil nutrients.
Rich in antioxidants: Organically grown products are also rich in antioxidants because they are free of the foreign substances or chemicals that normally react with the nutritional content like vitamins, organic compounds, and minerals which lower the essential positive impacts of antioxidants in food products. The health benefits of antioxidants derived from organic foods include preventing cardiac problems, cancer, eye-sight problems, premature aging, and cognitive impairment.
Improve body’s immunity: Conventionally grown foods have immense adverse health effects due to the presence of higher pesticide residue, more nitrate, heavy metals, hormones, antibiotic residue, and also genetically modified organisms. Moreover, conventionally grown foods are less nutritious and contain lesser amounts of protective antioxidants.
When humans consume non-organic food products, they indirectly consume these harmful elements, which may weaken their immune systems, leaving humans helpless in defending themselves against diseases.
In this pandemic, switching to organically grown food can enable building/sustaining the body’s natural immunity as organic foods are devoid of these harmful elements.
On this World Earth Day, let’s take a pledge to switch to Organic food and be responsible for the Ecosystem’s good health and our Health in particular.