Are you concerned that the food you are eating may be harmful to you and your family? With news reports about GM (genetically modified) foods, health scares about eating beef, chemicals on food affecting people’s health and the intelligence of children, it’s no wonder that many are looking to organic foods as an option.
WHAT IS ORGANIC FARMING?
Organic farming produces plant and animal foods without the excessive use of chemicals. It focuses on using fertile soil along with a variety of crops to maintain healthy growing conditions which produce food with more nutrients and fewer chemicals than typical commercial foods. Organic farming prohibits the growing of GM foods, a controversial issue among commercial growers.
Animals reared on organic farms are treated properly with room to behave like animals and are fed healthy food sources not laden with drugs and other chemicals.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ORGANIC FOODS?
One of the common benefits proclaimed about organic foods is that they taste better – but there are many other benefits of incorporating organic foods into your diet. Besides the physical benefits to you, there are environmental benefits and benefits to the animals and people who live and work on the farms.
Organic foods prevent people from ingesting regular amounts of pesticides and insecticides commonly found in commercial products. Animals are not routinely given antibiotics and other medication which enters the food supply to humans. Some research suggests that this excessive use of chemicals in food can be linked to increased health problems and interferes with the healthy development of children.
Organic food also protects the planet. Organic farming ensures that bio-diversity remains available in the foods we eat and the wildlife that live on the farms. Fruits and vegetables are naturally available in 100’s of varieties. Commercial growing limits the variety of each food available by mass-producing only a handful. Many species of birds, insects and other animals are affected by the chemicals and farming conditions used in growing commercial foods.
Organic farms grow a mix of crops and promote a balanced ecosystem including insects that protect crops from pests and worms and other micro-organisms which fertilize the soil.
HUMAN AND ANIMAL BENEFITS
Organic farming is considered ‘sustainable’ farming. The workers and the animals are not as exposed to dangerous toxins or working and living conditions. This enables people to continue growing healthy foods for the rest of society without reliance on huge machinery and chemicals.
The animals raised on organic farms are not subject to the terrible living conditions imposed on commercially reared animals who often live in exceedingly small spaces without the freedom to move or interact. These unhealthy conditions lead to a spreading of illness which is combated with regular doses of antibiotics.
On organic farms, the animals’ needs are given priority. Healthy food, clean living conditions and freedom to behave like animals means healthier animals. When animals are sick they are cared for individually according to their actual needs.
Organic, sustainable farming protects humans, animals and the environment. Increasing the demand for organic products will encourage this form of farming and ensure that the food supply available to our children is a healthy one.