Contemporarily speaking, the word organic has been sailing through in everyone’s mind, especially fitness enthusiasts. Most of us think that organic food means food that is grown without the use of any chemicals and pesticides. But is this really true? or is it just a fact that most people use as a word to make sales?. The word organic food has been dominating the fitness industry and has been convincing people that consuming such drinks will help them stay fit and healthy.
Since the dawn of industrialisation, mass production of goods and different foods have increased. Currently, in India, 1.4 Billion people need food to survive, and as a result of globalisation, the agricultural sector was opened to scientific techniques that have enabled farmers to produce more grains in short span of time. Scientific farming helps produce faster grains, but the side-effects involved in it can be visible only in the long run.
Every household in India prefers buying organic food today. Most people believe that consuming organic food will keep them healthy and energetic. But you need to remember that any food available in the market is definitely mass produced and sells because of marketing methods derived to draw the public’s attention. Before we really find out if organic food is really organic, let’s understand the meaning of organic food.
- What is Organic Food?
- What Makes Organic Food Really Organic?
- Difference Between Organic Food & Inorganic Food:
- Organic Food Has Less Nitrate:
- Is Organic Food Nutritious?
- Organic Food Has Less Chemicals Than Inorganic Food:
- Benefits of Organic Food:
- Organic Junk Food Causes Harm:
- News on Organic Food:
What is Organic Food?
Organic foods are produced usually through farming practices that are natural. This means that farmers avoid using any type of chemicals, antibiotics or genetically modified organisms in the process of farming. In simple terms, the word organic is defined as the natural process by which farmers grow, process and cultivate agricultural products. The non-use of inorganic methods of farming thereby following a natural way of farming is called organic food.
This is a very time consuming costly process, but the health industry claims that it has no side effects and is healthy. The word organic farming is a trending name in the agricultural industry that has made many farmers convert certain part of their agricultural land for organic farming.
What Makes Organic Food Really Organic?
In order to banner a food as organic, it must be grown on soil that does not have any sort of chemicals in it for a minimum of three years. Logically, this is a long time for a farmer to wait for because he has to pay back the loan he’s taken within the prescribed time. Most farmers begin growing crops immediately due to the lack of time to pay their debt. This means that he is growing organic food on soil that has chemicals in it that trigger faster growth. Now ask yourself, is it really organic food or not?
Basically, most farmers use organic techniques to grow organic foods, but what is the use when it has been grown on chemical soil. This means that we are consuming food that are only labelled as 100% organic but in reality, it is being grown on non-organic soil that contains, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.
However, most people don’t buy this fact because nothing in the market can be sold without a certificate from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The ugly truth is that CNBC found that FSSAI had acknowledged these foods as 100% organic even without checking the soil on which they were grown.
This means that the FSSAI is only certifying farms that are organic without checking the soil on which these so-called organic foods have been cultivated on. More sadly, this concept is also becoming commercial enough to harm people on minimalistic grounds. So what difference would it be to call organic food as organic and scientifical grown food as scientific? Don’t you think this is a false representation of food products? But more sadly this is what is sold widely in the markets.
Note: The above facts does not state that all farmers are practicing this. But in the larger sense, most organic companies practice this style of farming in order to mass produce these foods.
Read More: List of Protein Rich Food for Vegetarians
Difference Between Organic Food & Inorganic Food:
What could possibly be the difference between organic and inorganic food when both types use the same soil for cultivation. Organic food is supposed to be grown on natural soil without any chemical content found in the ground. Generally speaking, if organic is grown the right way, here is what difference it would make from that of inorganic food.
|Uses natural fertilizers such as compost, manure to feed soil and plant growth||Uses chemical fertilizers for plant growth|
|Uses insects and birds, animal dunk and traps to reduce pests and plant diseases||Spraying insecticides in order to reduce pests and plant disease|
|Rotates crops, removing weeds by hand and applying mulch on the soil to manage weeds||Uses chemical herbicides in order to manage weeds|
|Feed animals with organic material and allow them to graze in order to remove bad crops||Feed animals with antibiotics and growth hormones|
Organic Food Has Less Nitrate:
If organic food is grown on the right soil following all organic requirements, then it is said that the crops will have less content of nitrate. However, there are studies that reveal 30% less nitrate found in organic foods than that of inorganic food. Higher levels of nitrate in food products cause cancer.
There are chances that you may get methemoglobinemia which is a disease that affects the body’s ability to carry oxygen. This usually happens in infants. However, most people believe in the fact that even if there are higher levels of nitrate found in processed food, it can be countered by consuming more vegetables. This belief may trigger a sudden disease that could be life-threatening.
Is Organic Food Nutritious?
It may not be nutritious because the nutrition found in the food may reduce if the organic packaged food is kept on top of the shelf for long. Since organic foods supply is lesser to that of inorganic foods, it may take some time to reach your jurisdiction and by the time the packaged organic food reaches you, its nutrition content may have reduced. Vitamin C is the major nutrient that can degrade by the time the packaged organic food reaches you. This also reduces the nutritional value of the food.
Organic Food Has Less Chemicals Than Inorganic Food:
Most people prefer buying organic food because it has no artificial chemicals added to them and to keep themselves and their family healthy. But evidence states that consuming organic foods may reduce your bodies exposure to bacteria or infection thus not allowing antibiotics to work well when you’re ill.
Harmful chemicals such as cadmium were found in inorganic foods but it has been way under the limit of human consumption in most products. Organic foods also have cadmium levels in it which is lower than that of inorganic foods. However, there are few experts who state that cadmium levels in the blood can cause serious health issues in the future.
Well, you must be wondering how to manually remove cadmium from your food. The answer is wash, scrub, peel and cook your organic food products. This will reduce chemicals such as cadmium to a large extent but there is no way that you can remove them completely.
Note: Consuming organic foods will reduce your exposure to toxins, pesticides residues and bad bacteria. This may have a deadly impact when you fall sick, especially due to the fact that your body hasn’t been exposed to any of these bacterias, it may take time for you to heal.
Benefits of Organic Food:
There are numerous benefits of organic food wherein it reduces health risks of farmers and their families when using organic pesticides. Since most children are prone to pesticides sprayed over foods, organic foods may be the best safe food to consume. Organic foods provide most parents with the option of choosing products without harmful toxins.
There is evidence that food that’s grown organically are rich in nutrition such as Vitamin C, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. Also, chickens that were fed organic foods had reduced weight but stronger immune systems and were healthy to consume.
Note: Eating pure organically grown food is healthy, but even if organic food is grown on the same soil which inorganic food was grown, then it may definitely cause long-term problems.
Organic Junk Food Causes Harm:
Most people look at the label that reads 100% pure organic and gets caught in a trance. Most often this is just used as a marketing stunt to persuade customers and sell their products. Always remember that organic junk food is prepared using organic food grown on chemical soil and this can have high amounts of sugar, salt and other added fats.
Take for example, organic cookies, chips and ice cream that can cause considerable damage if consumed regularly. If you are trying to lose weight then organic junk food is not advised because it will work similar to that of consuming inorganic food.
Most often organic junk food labels will read 100% natural, but do not get carried away by labelling. The best example is using organic raw cane sugar instead of processed sugar. The answer is sugar is sugar whether consumed organic or inorganic. Most people already consume a lot of sugar and consuming organic cookies could mean that dangerous food is added to your diet.
Note: While inorganic food comes with high amounts of sugar and calories, organic junk food is still considered as junk food an fall under the same category.
You may have a number of questions in your mind related to organic food. Many may think it is good enough to live a healthy life, but it may be otherwise. The number of studies in this particular field is less. The fitness industry has advocated the fact that organic is a way to lose weight, which may be true, but in certain cases, it may be not.
1. Why are organic foods expensive?
Organic food is expensive because they are time-consuming to grow and the amount of money spent is a lot. Expensive rates too are a triggering factor that enables people to buy organic foods. There is a segment of the population who believe that what is expensive is way better than what is not. Thus, the money and time spent for cultivating organic crops are more than that of inorganic crops.
2. Will organic food be good for you?
Organic foods have high amounts of nutritional value when compared to that of inorganic foods and this is because of the abuses of pesticides, insecticides and scientific fertilizers that boost the growth of crops. Organic pesticides are used as a way to get rid of weeds and pests that destroy crops. Thus, you and your family can be safe by consuming organic foods, but make sure that you read the label properly to know the amount of nutrition, fibers, and added fat it contains. This is because you may sometimes get carried away with the concept of organic junk food.
3. Is organic food pesticide free?
During the production of organic foods, synthetic pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers are not added. This distinguishes it from inorganic foods. Organic foods have natural pesticides used to prevent pest and weeds from damaging the crop. These natural pesticides are soil friendly that allows the soil to be used over and over again, thus preventing it from soil degradation. In inorganic farming, the soil will be sprinkled with chemicals that prevent pests from damaging crops. This is not used in organic farming.
4. Do organic food benefit our environment?
Organic foods do benefit our environment in a massive way simply by acting as a sustainable soil agent that can be used again and again. The use of organic fertilizers protect the soil from dying and this has benefited the environment we inhabit.
Inorganic farming protects crops from weeds and pests and during this process, farmers spray pesticides on the soil which sometimes have the tendency to reach groundwater sources. This leads to groundwater pollution. In this way, organic farming methods benefit groundwater sources because it does not use any sort pesticides that have chemicals in it.
The emergence of organic food has benefited the fitness industry thus using it as a nutritional supplement for a healthy life. But with the fact that most organic farmers use the inorganic land to cultivate organic food contradicts the fact of whether organic food is really organic. Currently, people are willing to pay more money to buy organic food because of the customary belief that it is very healthy. Yes, it is healthier than inorganic foods, but it’s not healthy if it can’t be grown on fresh soil without adding chemical fertilizers.
News on Organic Food:
Organic Food and Breast Cancer Risk Reduction
– 2nd Nov 2018
A recent French study, involving over 68,000 participants tried to observe the relationship between organic food and the development of postmenopausal breast cancer. The study lasted over 4 years, and during this study, over 1300 new cases of breast cancer were reported. The researchers observed that people who opted for more organic food, like fresh produce, lean meats and so on were 25% less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer. Having made this observation, the researchers also confirmed that all these results were based on direct observation and thus, can’t affirmatively confirm that organic foods even have a role to play in reducing the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The researchers also pointed out that organic food was pocket unfriendly, thus, only a more well-to-do section of the society could afford to lead a life extravagant enough to include organic food.