Conscious and environmentally-friendly living not only is beneficial for you but also reduce public health risks to farm workers. By going organic, you can minimize exposure to toxic and persistent chemicals on the farm and in food, and in the air we breathe and the water we drink. You can truly make a big change with just one decision.
Fresh India Organics’s CMO Jenai Bilimoria shares 7 fundamental truths about going organic with your food, and explains why it’s totally worth it not just for you, but the planet too
1. Organic food is indeed healthier
Organic farming means growing food without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Organic food is therefore devoid of harmful chemicals that are found in conventional produce and which can be linked to a variety of diseases found across the food chain.
Organic food also tastes better and fresher because it has more nutrients, and no preservatives are used to enhance the natural shelf life of the produce. Organic food is thus better for individuals, the environment and for animals.
2. The benefits of organic food outweigh the need to justify the cost
Organic farming is more labour-intensive than conventional farming as each plant/tree needs personal attention to make sure they’re growing properly. Since there are no chemical fertilizers used in organic farming, plant/crop productivity cannot be enhanced by artificial means. Therefore, organic farming yield is lower than conventional farming yield. In summary, the higher growing costs and lower but natural yields make organic food more expensive than conventional food. The added cost is completely negated by the numerous health benefits one enjoys by consuming organic food- it is better for the entire food chain and the environment.
3. Organic food isn’t just good for your health, it’s good for the health of the planet too
Organic food is better for the environment in every way. As there is no use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, there is no contamination of soil and the groundwater table. This improves soil fertility and reduces soil erosion. Organic farming also reduces pollution as it releases 64% less new reactive nitrogen into the environment as compared to conventional farming.
4. You should check the label to see if your food is certified organic
There are 3rd party accreditation bodies that conduct yearly reviews of all activities – farming procedures, soil and water testing, packaging, storing and cleaning processes – and then issue an organic certificate if the standards set out by that country have been met for each of those activities. An organic certificate could be a good way to identify a trustworthy brand because the certification process is both comprehensively robust and expensive. For instance, it takes 3 years for a farmer to get certified from the date he applies for a certification, irrespective of whether the farmer has previously used fertilisers or not. Additionally, one can also conduct independent random sample testing in private labs to be doubly sure. Those are the more scientific ways of ascertaining organic produce, though we always believe that the taste is in the pudding – a general rule of thumb is that one will be able to tell the difference between organic and conventional produce once they’ve tried organic food, as it’s just fresher and tastier.
5. Eating organic and eating local produce is not the same thing
Organic produce is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides (locally grown food). Organic farming involves techniques such as intercropping, crop rotation, green manuring and composting (using neem leaves, cow dung, cow urine etc) and biological pest control (using natural organisms to reduce the number of pests).
6. Organic food is always pesticide-free
Yes. In fact, we’ve been educating our customers on what is known as the Dirty Dozen – a list of 12 fruits and vegetables as identified by the Environmental Working Group (an organisation of scientists, researchers and policymakers) that contain a very large amount of chemicals and pesticides. The following fruits and vegetables are always best consumed organic, given how many pesticides and other chemicals come into contact with conventional versions: cauliflower, cabbage, apple, brinjal, grapes, potato, banana, leafy greens, tomatoes, mango, strawberries, cucumber.
7. Organic food tends to have a shorter shelf-life because it is all-natural
Organic food does not employ the use of artificial preservatives, therefore it does have a lower shelf life compared to conventional produce. A good way to think about this is that this is just how nature intended it to be! Whilst most things can be made organically some of the bigger industries are baby products + food, clothing and makeup.