Organic food, once only available in health food stores, is now widely available in most supermarkets. And that has caused a small issue in the produce section.
You may choose an apple that was grown using customary techniques, for instance. Or you might choose an organic option. The apples are both red, shiny, and sturdy. They both offer fibre and vitamins. And neither apple has cholesterol, salt, or fat. Which one should you pick? Before you shop, do your research.
What is organic agriculture?
The term “organic” refers to how farmers cultivate and prepare agricultural (farm) products. Fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy goods like milk and cheese, and meat are among these things. The following objectives are targeted by organic farming practises:
- Improve soil and water quality
- Cut pollution
- Provide safe, healthy places for farm animals (livestock) to live
- Enable natural farm animals’ behavior
- Promote a self-sustaining cycle of resources on a farm
Materials or methods not allowed in organic farming include:
- Artificial (synthetic) fertilizers to add nutrients to the soil
- Sewage sludge as fertilizer
- Most synthetic pesticides for pest control
- Using radiation (irradiation) to preserve food or to get rid of disease or pests
- Using genetic technology to change the genetic makeup (genetic engineering) of crops, which can improve disease or pest resistance, or to improve crop harvests
- Antibiotics or growth hormones for farm animals (livestock)
Materials or techniques used in organic crop cultivation may include:
To enhance the quality of the soil, plant waste (green manure), animal manure, or compost are spread over fields.
Rotating your plants helps maintain soil quality and breaks pest or disease cycles.
Cover crops to plough into soil to improve soil quality and avoid soil erosion when certain areas of land aren’t in use
Control weeds with mulch
Pest control using insects or insect traps
When used sparingly and only as a last resort in conjunction with a USDA organic certifying agent, some natural and a few synthetic pesticides have been permitted for use in organic farming.
For farm animals (livestock), organic agricultural strategies include:
access to the outdoors and wholesome living conditions
At least 30% of the nutritional requirements of farm animals are met by pasture feeding during the grazing season.
vaccines to prevent disease (vaccinations)
According to USDA recommendations, organic foods should be labelled as:
This mark is applied to single-ingredient items such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, and other certified organic products. If all of the ingredients, with the exception of salt and water, are organically certified, it may also be used on foods with a lot of ingredients. These might bear the USDA seal.
In order for a food to be labelled as organic, at least 95% of the ingredients—aside from salt and water—must be organically grown or produced. The non-organic ingredients must come from a list of additional ingredients that has been approved by the USDA. These might also bear the USDA seal.
A product may bear the claim “produced with organic ingredients” if it contains at least 70% certified organic ingredients. A morning cereal might say on the box, “made with organic oats,” for instance. Indicate which ingredients are organic in the ingredient list. The USDA seal cannot be placed on these goods.
Organic food components.
The term “organic” cannot be used to describe a product if less than 70% of its ingredients are actually certified organic. It cannot bear the USDA seal either. Which ingredients are organic may be determined from the ingredient list.
Hope it helps!