THE RETURN OF THE ORGANIC MOVEMENT

The Plough to Platter technique followed hundred years ago lost its meaning as the food industry revolutionized the way we eat. It not only changed the face of farming and but also that of our food by using chemicals which are harmful in every context. Over the years, prices rose and although sufficient food was available in the market, it became inaccessible by the poor. The 20th century brought about a major change. More food production was offered as a solution to the high prices and the New Green Revolution started.

 

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With the developments in technology and science genetically engineered and genetically modified organisms came into existence. These crops were used abundantly to increase food production, however only in the most ideal environmental conditions. Moreover, engineered to stand high chemicals, they became a threat both to human health as well as the environment. Over the decades, awareness about chemicals, genetically modified organisms, the effects of conventional farming on the environment, and consciousness about how small scale farmers are being affected etc. has revolutionized our farming techniques. It wasn’t long ago when we realized that investing in GMO-seed technology may not be considered the best idea. This was followed with the return of the organic movement.

The increasing popularity of organic farming has changed the face of farming, food, environment and human health for the better. Buying something which is labeled organic, by good and reliable brands such as Organic Soul, means you are buying products not sprayed with pesticides, treated with antibiotics, or worse genetically modified. While conventional farming may be beneficial in terms of big scale food production, its effects on the environment, human health, as well as the home economies of small scale farmers cannot be overruled! Buying organic means you are helping in transforming the lives of poor farmers. In the light of this, the return of organic farming has become a major revolution of the 21st century.

In organic agriculture, the most successful farms are the ones which mix a number of crops and build the soil with composted manure. Transforming food waste into high quality compost can be done easily with investment in infrastructure for small-scale production of organic produce. Besides this, helping the small-scale farmers understand the concept of organic better and educating them on its benefits can bring about a major change. For the small scale farmers who believed that only expensive fertilizers and pesticides can result in higher production and therefore, higher profits, it is important to not only encourage them towards organic agricultural techniques but also make sure that they are getting their due profit from it.

The return of the organic movement has seen quite its success with the increase in the number of companies who are collaborating with small scale farmers, such as Organic Soul, but a lot of people are still unaware about how buying organic is the right way to eating and remaining healthy. The truth is if you do not become a part of this movement, as an organic producer or even as a customer, you will never understand the first hand benefits of organic. Therefore, it is not only important to grow organic, but also support organic farmers directly by buying and eating more organic!

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ORGANIC VERSUS CONVENTIONAL FARMING

Conventional farming practices have ruled the agriculture industry for hundreds of years. Chemicals used during conventional farming accounts to billions of pounds annually. These chemicals not just adversely affect our health but also impact the surroundings. Considering all the negative impacts of conventional farming, we would come to the realization that it is not a sustainable system for any of us. Besides the threat to environment at a global level, the chemical-driven food industry market is resulting in serious threats to human health.

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A review by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine of various published studies on nutritional value of conventionally grown food and organic food verified that organically grown vegetables, pulses, rice, tea, etc. provides significantly more nutrients and help in fulfilling the daily intake of nutrients. Missing on essential nutrients which are deemed critical to maintain health is the main reason of illness. Studies have proved that organic food has more nutrients than conventional food.  Organic food is associated with better health as it is rich in essential vitamins, micronutrients, and minerals. On an average, it has been found, that organic produce is rich in iron by 21.1%, vitamin C by 27%, magnesium by 29.3%, phosphorus by 13.6%, as well as important antioxidants and enzymes. On the other hand, the health benefits of conventional produce is destroyed by chemical fertilizers and pesticides used during inorganic practices of agriculture.

Numerous reports claim that harmful pesticides can affect the nervous system adversely, decrease fertility as well as increase the risk of cancer, while a U.S. study claims that low-level exposure to pesticides may result in better neurologic and behavioral health. Consuming organic food can drastically reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, 90% of which are not even tested for long term health effects before being approved for usage during conventional farming. Besides harmful fertilizers and pesticides, processed foods also expose us to genetically engineered (GE) food as well as genetically modified organisms (GMO), which survive glyphosate spraying and lead to super weeds and super bugs due to excessive chemical dousing. The World Health Organization’s cancer research scientists have recently classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen for humans. The only way to avoid it is to go organic!

Organic farming can be viewed as a practice of regenerative agriculture which helps in increasing the fertility of soil and creating more nutritious food. At the same time it reduces carbon footprint by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and helps in reversing rapid climate changes, thus protecting future generations. Besides diminishing the toxic load on health, organic farming is the way to keep toxic chemicals out of soil, water, and air. David Pimentel, an entomologist from Cornell, has estimated that 99% of pesticides sprayed during conventional farming impact the environment, while only one per cent reaches the targeted pests. Thus, organic farming not only helps in preserving water quality and improving soil fertility, but also directs us towards eco-sustenance, thus preserving eco-systems, bio-diversity, and our health. Therefore, organic farming is not only the way to sustainable agriculture, but also to a healthier planet!

 

ORGANIC FARMING: NEED OF THE HOUR!

Scientific evidence over the past few decades have shown us the importance of organic farming in combatting world hunger and at the same time taking care of the environment. Organic farming has become critical for yielding enough food for the growing population as well as regenerating the ecological balance of environment through Eco-friendly methods of food production. It can protect the ecosystems which sustain life, the soil and water which offer nourishment, and the pollinators which are often destroyed by chemical fertilizers used during conventional farming.

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Effects of soil erosion, water depletion from major resources, greenhouse gas emissions and washing off of synthetic fertilizer to oceanic bodies can be reduced to a significant amount through techniques that focus on preserving the environment. Comparing industrial agriculture with organic farming brings the ill-effects of industrial methods and the pros of organic farming to our focus. Studies have shown that organic produce is more resilient to harsh climate impacts such as floods or droughts due to better soil structure and water holding capacity of the soil on organic farms.

Organic farming has proven to be a conservation-based method. It exhausts less energy and offers greater benefits to both the environment and humans’ health. It has also been observed to promote bio-diversity through the use of natural pesticides that do not harm pollinators and useful insects. By eliminating highly toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, organic farming has helped save millions of small species. Other than all this, by restoring larger amounts of carbon in the soil, organic farming is proving to be a beneficial strategy to mitigate climate change.

With expert researches, surveys and scientific reports, organic methods of farming have proven to be far more efficient on a wide spectrum. Besides offering environmental and health benefits, it outperforms conventional agriculture methods on economic stability. Organic farming systems are more cost-effective for farmers and help in boosting local economies. Large scale organic farming can even help reduce poverty, apart from protecting the health of rural communities, farmworkers, and consumers.

In spite of the agrichemical industry spreading misleading rumours over the internet about the necessity of the chemical-driven food industry, the organic industry is booming at a high rate now and the demand of organic produce is increasing. The need of the hour is to generate new policies and interest towards organic farming and to meet the growing demands of the organic market. By familiarizing local farmers with its benefits, we can build sustainable food practices and confront challenging environmental issues including water scarcity, soil erosion, climate change, and loss of biodiversity.

Brands such as Organic Soul are spreading awareness amongst consumers to support this resilient agriculture system and encouraging farmers to shift towards the sustainable methods of organic farming.