- Are we facing another Silent Spring?
- Organic farming improves pollination success in strawberries
- Organic wine – flavourful, healthful, ethical
- Paediatricians against pesticides – and about time too!
- Five a day without pesticides
- Why I Love Organic campaign
- Pesticide Action Network, UK
- UK Pesticides Campaign
- Assessing organic food quality: Is it better for you?, by Shane Heaton
- Organic Farms Make Healthy Plants Make Healthy People, Institute of Science in Society
- USDA, National Organic Program
Organic – so much more than a lifestyle choice
NYR Natural News
There are some people who believe that organic is a lifestyle choice. We see things differently.
We believe organic is the only rational choice to maintain a sustainable and productive farming system, to preserve the essential diversity of the natural world and to ensure the quality of the foods we eat and the ingredients in other things such as beauty products.
When we talk about organic, we mean only those crops (and certified organic products made from those ingredients) which have been grown and processed under a specific and strict set of ecological regulations laid down by independent certifying bodies such as the Soil Association.
Why choose organic?
There are lots of good reasons to support organic principles. Most have to do with promoting the health of people and the environment, now and in the future.
Organic farming methods recognise the complex and delicate balance of the natural world and aim to work with natural ecosystems rather than trying to dominate them.
By encouraging wildlife biodiversity to act as a natural pest control, and by building up the nutrients in the soil to grow strong, healthy crops, reliance on synthetic chemicals is avoided.
It all seems very obvious, but it is a sad fact that over the last 50 years mankind has lost sight of its connection with the land – intensive farming techniques have been responsible for the devastation of much of our wildlife’s habitat and the subsequent loss of species. While this has happened many people have either not known or not cared or simply not understood what the consequences of this devastation are.
The human impact is quite clear too as tens of thousands of new chemicals have been released into the environment, many of them known carcinogens. At the same time, even though living standards have improved, serious health conditions have increased.
If you’ve never considered choosing organic before, here’s five things to consider:
Approximately a third of the average consumer’s carbon footprint comes from their food shopping basket. This could be significantly reduced by choosing organic, local and seasonal foods.
Organic farming avoids polluting chemicals, and even helps reduce atmospheric CO2 by enriching soil with ploughed-in plant matter.
Artificial nitrogen fertilisers are the worst chemical offender. To produce just one tonne takes a tonne of oil, one hundred tonnes of water and emits seven tonnes of greenhouse gasses.
According to the UK Government’s Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) around 890,000 tonnes of chemicals are used each year in the UK by the industrialised agriculture industry to kill weeds, insects and other pests.
Instead of relying on chemicals, organic farmers work with nature to feed the soil and control pests.
No plant food or ingredient has greater health-giving goodness than those that have been organically grown. According to the Soil Association report, Organic Farming, Food Quality and Human Health, (S Heaton, 2001) organic foods and ingredients contain higher levels of vitamin C and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium as well as health-promoting antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Choosing organically produced ingredients of any kind also avoids pesticide contamination. Certified organic products, food or cosmetics, further avoids all controversial additives including aspartame, MSG and hydrogenated fats. In cosmetic products it also means you avoid worrisome preservatives and phthalates.
Choosing organic also puts money into the hands of sustainable farmers, rather than those who see crops as just another commodity unrelated to the earth or soil or human well-being.