SO… WHAT IS ORGANIC?

ORGANICS means: natural, whole, unrefined untreated, macrobiotic
Natural refers to something existing or formed by nature.

Organic farming means farming in a way that cares for the environment, without relying upon synthetic chemicals and other unnatural interventionist approaches to farming and food production. Hence, organic food comes from organic farms utilising the best of both traditional agriculture and modern techniques. Rather than using synthetic pesticides to kill pests, farmers prevent pests by planting a diverse range of crops, by rotations, using natural biological and environment friendly applications, and conserving natural ecosystems.

This means no artificial pesticides, no herbicides, no hormones and no growth promotants that have a questionable place in our aim to maintain healthy bodies. The same logic of natural and preventative health management (rather than reactive diseasemanagement) is applied to GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, that the organic industry prohibits in the production of organic foods. With many safe and proven forms of farming already available, the organic farmer believes it is important to allow Mother Nature to provide us with food the way nature intended.

For organically processed foods and personal care products, only minimal processing is permitted, with a limited number of non-agricultural but natural or traditional ingredients allowed. Hence no synthetic chemicals, unnatural dyes, colourings, flavourings or other additives are allowed. (Organic and Natural Living, Issue one.)

Organic Farming

Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system which originated early in the 20th century in reaction to rapidly changing farming practices. Organic farming continues to be developed by various organic agriculture organizations today. It relies on fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged. In general, organic standards are designed to allow the use of naturally occurring substances while prohibiting or strictly limiting synthetic substances.

For instance, naturally occurring pesticides such as pyrethrin and rotenone are permitted, while synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are generally prohibited. Synthetic substances that are allowed include, for example, copper sulfate, elemental sulfur and Ivermectin. Genetically modified organisms, nanomaterials, human sewage sludge, plant growth regulators, hormones, and antibiotic use in livestock husbandry are prohibited. Reasons for advocation of organic farming include real or perceived advantages in sustainability, openness, self-sufficiency, autonomy/independence, health, food security, and food safety, although the match between perception and reality is continually challenged.

Organic Food

Organic food is food produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming in general features practices that strive to cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in farming. In general, organic foods are also usually not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or synthetic food additives.

Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as organic within their borders. In the context of these regulations, organic food is produced in a way that complies with organic standards set by regional organizations, national governments and international organizations. Although the produce of kitchen gardens may be organic, selling food with an organic label is regulated by governmental food safety authorities, such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or European Commission (EC).

There is not sufficient evidence in medical literature to support claims that organic food is safer or healthier than conventionally grown food. While there may be some differences in the nutrient and antinutrient contents of organically- and conventionally-produced food, the variable nature of food production and handling makes it difficult to generalize results. Claims that organic food tastes better are generally not supported by evidence.

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