In today’s marketplace, the word “organic” can be seen in almost every retail section, on a multitude of different products. So what is “organic” ?
Organic apply’s to all types of foods, clothing, and household goods. General organic food is grown on farms close to your local community, which follow strict guidelines and “treads lightly” on the earth. They are grown with no pesticides, hormones, or any other chemical cocktails, which enhance their growth and resistance to bugs.
Growing, processing, and handling/transporting of food organically, means to do so in a healthy and ecologically sound way. Organic food is more than just growing foods without toxic substances, the farms producing such products go far beyond these methods. Organic farmers strive to create a healthy balance within their environment, to ensure the best quality of produce and have a minimal impact on the surrounding ecosystem. By building healthy soil, it deters pests and disease outbreaks, somewhat like keeping yourself healthy to prevent getting a cold. When disease does come along on an organic farm, the farmers will remove bugs or the infected part of the plant by hand or by use of biological controls.
Many organic farms have mixed gardens that invite all types of bugs, birds, and small amphibians to pass through. These animals will eat many of the bugs which destroy such crops; all these animals are living in equilibrium. Research of planting certain crops together will also aid in keeping farms healthy. By planting mint with cabbage, the white cabbage moth is repelled by the neighbouring mint! There are many types of organic pest control which have been used successfully over a long period of time.
In addition, farmers raise animals to produce natural fertilizers that will be put back into the soil. They will only use non-genetically modified seeds and many will not raise crops with neighbours who use pesticides or non organic fertilizers, due to fear of wind drift.
Livestock can be raised organically by living in conditions which meet their natural behaviour (not locked into miniscule pens), allow roaming free, socializing with other animals, and are fed organic crops. The animals will not be given growth enhancing hormones nor will they be force fed antibiotics.
When processing and transporting organic goods, special care is also taken with organic foods. Standards are met to make sure the products are safe and processed in an ecological manner. Products will be transported short distances (less pollution to get an apple from a local farm then a farm in a different country) and will be transported physically divided from non-organic foods or chemicals to avoid contamination.
Organic food is:
Quality food, no synthetic pesticides, no synthetic herbicides, no preservatives, no additives, no irradiation, no sewage as fertilizer, resulting in less soil erosion, enriched soils, drought resistant soil, less groundwater pollution and improved farm land biodiversity.