Organic refers to the way agricultural products- food and fiber- are grown and processed. It is an ecological system that at its core relies on a healthy rich soil to produce strong plants that resist pests and diseases. Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic chemicals as pesticides and fertilizers. In the case of livestock and poultry, antibiotics and growth hormones are prohibited, opting instead for preventative measures for keeping animals healthy and productive. Organic production also prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms.
Better taste and higher nutritional value
Ever tasted a real tree-ripened peach, or a garden-fresh ripe red tomato? If so you'll appreciate that food tastes better when it's grown in its own time. Organically raised animals grow at their own natural pace, without artificial growth hormones. This means less animal stress and better tasting food! Clean water, quality feed, fresh air, healthy pastures, and nutrient-rich soil all contribute to the superior taste of organically grown food.
The connection between flavor and nutrition is clear, since a number of organically produced foods have also been shown to have superior nutritional value. Milk from pasture-raised organic cows, for example, has recently been shown to have significantly higher levels of vitamin E, Omega 3 essential fatty acids, beta carotene and other antioxidants than milk from conventional cows raised in confinement. Locally produced foods also tend to be fresher, and are therefore more likely to contain more living nutrients.
The safest choice
Food safety has been a growing concern of consumers since the late 1940's, when the use of synthetic chemicals in agricultural production was promoted to farmers as a way of enhancing productivity and increasing yield from every acre. Today, conventional agriculture includes an arsenal of more than 600 pesticides. 940 million pounds of chemical pesticides were used in 2000more than three pounds for every person in the United States.
The use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and genetically modified organisms to intensify production in todays conventional agriculture practices also gives rise to serious health questions. The common factory-farm practice of feeding of rendered animal byproducts and non-organic substances raises concerns, for animal and human health alike. They have been suspected to play a role in numerous human health concerns including early puberty, allergies, and BSE (Mad Cow Disease).
If healthy living depends on knowing your body, then knowing what you eat and where it comes from is of equal importance. For several decades, industrialized production and mass marketing of foods have made it increasingly difficult for consumers to maintain or understand their connection with the source of their foods. At the same time, the eating habits associated with convenience foods have had a negative impact on our physical and social well-being.