We all have a decision to make about what we choose to eat, whether it’s conventional, chemically grown food or natural, organic produce. There are lots of reasons to choose organic, but here are five of the best:
For your health: No chemical fertilizers, pesticides or other toxic substances are used in organic farming or during handling, storage, and processing, which means organic food is safe to eat from the moment you buy it. Many chemicals used in Indian farming are banned globally, and due to uncontrolled usage, are applied to crops at levels far over safe or legal limits. These are known to cause serious health problems, including cancers, neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases, autism, especially for infants and children.
For the soil: We don’t think about it very often, but the dirt where we grow our food is its own world of nutrients, organisms, and crops working closely together. Conventional farming throws this world out of sync by overloading it with a few basic chemicals, destroying the soil’s health. Organic farming uses only natural, local nutrient for fertilizer, keeping the soil, and everything growing in it, healthy. For long-term food security, it is crucial that we take care of our soil, which is depleting at an alarming rate.
For Farmers: Since chemical fertilizers and pesticides destroy soil health, farmers who rely on them need more and more every year to grow the same amount of crops. These rising costs can trap farmers in inescapable debt. Ironically, farmers buy in retail and sell in wholesale! Various research studies have linked the resulting debt from industrial agriculture practices directly to farmer suicides. Organic farmers rely directly on their own land and make their own inputs, and hence don’t need to buy new chemicals and fertilizers every year. This makes organic farming economically sustainable as well.
For the environment: Organic farming isn’t just good for farmers and their land, it’s better for the earth. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides run off into local water systems, threatening people’s health and destroying plant and animal life. These toxins, which have become omnipresent in the environmental ecosystem, are inevitably making their way into our bodies as well. Conventional agriculture along with its allied activities is the single largest contributor to carbon emissions. Going organic is a major way to help reduce global warming, and ensuring long-term health for our planet and it’s inhabitants.
For biodiversity: Large agribusinesses usually own the rights to certain types of seeds that are resistant to their own brands of pesticides. This can lead to the extinction of thousands of natural varieties of different fruits and veggies that make food more delicious, more exciting, and more unique. Organic farmers help preserve unique local varieties of fruits and veggies for the rest of us to enjoy.
By Ashmeet Kapoor, CEO/Founder – I Say Organic.