While a long time ago organic foods were for people with specific health conditions, today organic produce can be found in almost any supermarket and is on tongue’s tip of everyone. But, the word organic is often confused with natural, free range or hormone free. It is important to note that organic means “food that has been produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals, sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation”.
Organic foods are produced by farmers who “emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of the soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations; meat/poultry/eggs/dairy products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones and spend time outdoors”.
Under the US department of agriculture, organic foods bear a specific seal that allow them to be sold as organic though some foods may not be wholly organic and stated as thus on the seal.
There has been much debate over the years over the organic v/s normal food question but it is generally seen that organic food is much better for a healthy life as compared to traditional foods.
- Organic foods have higher nutrient values (vitamins, antioxidants and minerals) as compared to normal foods. This is because the soil in which they are grown are allowed to recuperate and re gauge with soil minerals through natural means where by the plants can grow up at a steady rate and be filled with the required minerals while excluding harmful chemicals from pesticides/insecticides/herbicides and synthetic fertilizers.
- They are free of chemicals especially pesticides. Organophosphates, a common chemical of pesticides (originally used during world war 1 as neurotoxin), release toxins that damage nerve and brain cells.
- They are safer for babies, kids and pregnant women as there is a lesser risk of chemical traces in these foods which can affect the normal growth of young ones as well as developing babies.
- Organic foods are far safer for the environment as a whole. There is less stress on the environment since the exclusion of chemicals means that there is no problem of leaching and subsequent pollution of rivers, lakes and other water bodies and degradation of soil quality. Organic farms also pollute less as compared to industrialised farms since they use manure as fertilizers and insects and other natural predators to repel pests instead of chemicals.