Written by: Sana Rao
Organic farming is an agricultural production method, and it involves far more than choosing to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones.
Organic production is a holistic system designed to optimize the productivity and adaptability of various communities (including soil organisms, plants, livestock and humans) in the agricultural ecosystem. The main goal of organic production is to develop sustainable companies that are in harmony with the environment.
The general principles of organic production from the Canadian Organic Standard (2006) include the following:
- Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, reduce pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote health.
- Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing the conditions of biological activity in the soil.
- Maintain the biodiversity in the system.
- Recycle materials and resources within the company as much as possible.
- Prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing and handling methods to maintain organic integrity and important product quality at all stages of production.
- Rely on renewable resources in the agricultural system of the local organization.
Pesticides pollute almost every part of our environment. Pesticide residues have been found in the soil and air, surface and groundwater in all countries, and the use of urban pesticides has caused this problem. Pesticide pollution poses a significant risk to the environment and non-target organisms, which range from beneficial soil microorganisms to insects, plants, fish and birds. Advanced soil treatment with pesticides can reduce the number of beneficial soil microorganisms. According to soil scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham, “If we lose bacteria and fungi, the soil will degrade. The pollution of groundwater by pesticides is a global problem. Once groundwater is contaminated with toxic chemicals, it may take many years to dissipate or remove the pollutants. If it is not impossible, cleaning can also be very expensive and complicated. Contrary to common misconceptions, even herbicides can cause damage to the environment. In fact, because herbicides are used in large quantities, they are particularly troublesome. The best method to reduce the pesticide contamination (and the damage it causes) is organic farming.
Farmers say the main reason they want to farm organically is their concerns about the environment and the use of pesticides in traditional farming systems. Organic farmers find their farming methods profitable and personally benefit.
- Organic foods are much richer in nutrients. The nutritional value of food depends on its mineral and vitamin content. Organic farming can improve soil nutrients, which are spread to animals and plants.
- Organic food does not contain chemicals. This is because organic farmers do not use chemicals like their commercial counterparts at any stage of the food planting process. These foods prevent dangerous diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
- Organic farming does not use toxic chemicals and pesticides. Since organic farming avoids these toxins, the diseases caused by them are reduced.
- Organic food must undergo quality control, and the creation process must be strictly investigated. For consumers, this is a huge victory because they are acquiring real organic food. These quality checks and research have eliminated crooks who want to profit from organic food labels by providing commercially produced food.
- There is a misunderstanding that organic food is relatively expensive. The fact is that they are actually cheaper because they do not require the use of expensive pesticides, pesticides and herbicides. In fact, you can get organic food directly from the source at a reasonable price.
- Organic food is usually better than other foods. The sugar content in organically grown fruits and vegetables gives it extra flavor. The quality of fruits and vegetables can be measured by Brix analysis.
- In commercial farms, chemicals are used to penetrate the soil and severely pollute the soil and nearby water sources. Plant life, animals and humans are all affected by this phenomenon. Organic farming does not use these harsh chemicals. The environment is still protected.
- Compared with conventional crops, the cell structure of organic plants has higher metabolism and structural integrity. This makes the storage time of organic food longer.
Organic agriculture is preferred because it fights pests and weeds in a non-toxic way, reduces the input cost of farming, and maintains ecological balance while promoting biodiversity and protecting the environment.
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