Advantages of Organic Food Production & Consumption
by Webmaster, All4NaturalHealth.com
Why eat organic food? Is organic food better?
Yes, there are many advantages of organic food production and consumption.
Organic farming is the way to go, because it is in harmony with nature and its methods. In general, organically grown produce meet very high safety and cleanliness standards.
One criticism of organic farming methods is that it would not be able to feed the entire world's population, due to its lower yields when compared to modern conventional farming methods.
However, a study in 2007, the "Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems", which compiled research from 293 different studies in order to compare the efficiency of the two methods of farming, states that "organic methods could produce enough food on a global per capita basis to sustain the current human population, and potentially an even larger population, without increasing the agricultural land base".
If the study is indeed correct, then the advantages of organic food consumption would become two-fold - better quality food, without compromising on the quantity produced.
Well, with the growing world population, and rising food prices, this debate is likely to rage on for years to come.
If you are thinking of how we can better supply food to all people on Earth, read about the advantages of the consumption of a vegetarian diet. If we can combine those benefits with the organic food advantages, both in its production and consumption, then the positive effects would be greatly magnified!
Back to the topic of chemical pesticides - worse, as pests become more immune to the various chemical pesticides, farmers begin to use more chemicals of higher potency in an attempt to kill them. These chemicals are ending up on our dinner tables.
These harmful chemicals kill off many organisms and animals in the wild, significantly affecting natural ecosystems and their biodiversity.
They also pollute and contaminate vital clean water supplies worldwide.
One of the main advantages of organic food production is that none of these chemicals are used in organic farming. Pollution and damage to the soil and waters - rivers, lakes, seas and oceans, as well as harm to animals and insects, are thus minimized.
Organic farming hence helps to preserve the wildlife biodiversity of nature.
Organic farming reduces the dependence on resources which are not renewable. It encourages the recycling of nutrients back into the soil.
Animal waste and plant waste, compost, including crop residues, are used as natural fertilizers, preserving and even enhancing soil quality and fertility. The farming land can be reused without the need for chemical fertilizers.
Further, organic matter in soil helps to maintain good soil structure as well as improves its water-holding capacity. This also improves soil quality, and reduces soil erosion.
Overall, organic farming preserves, even improves, the quality and fertility of the soil.
This is in stark contrast to modern commercial farming methods, which often cause loss of soil quality, reduction of biodiversity, as well as soil erosion.
Organic farms grow a mixture of different types of fruits and vegetables, thereby encouraging a well-balanced and diversified ecosystem.
Due to the absence of chemicals, worms and other important microorganisms which support the natural growth processes of the plants can survive and thrive. These organisms help in pest-control, and they also help to break down organic fertilizers, facilitating the absorption of nutrients by crops.
Organisms, for example insects, which eat pests are able to survive on organic farms, thus offering a natural way of pest control, without the need for synthetic pesticides.
In contrast, conventional farms usually mass produce only a few kinds of produce, and chemicals used also harm many species of insects, microorganisms, birds and other animals.
Overall, modern commercial farming methods really do a lot of damage to the environment and reduce its biodiversity. This is where they really fall short of the advantages of organic food production, which takes good care of the health of the environment and of its ecosystems.
Better long-term sustainability
Because of the abovementioned advantages of organic food production, there is thus better sustainability when it comes to organic farming.
The cleanliness and quality of precious water and land resources are preserved, and vital resources are reused. This preserves the environment and farming resources for use by future generations, and food can be continually grown using the same land without the need to use chemical fertilizers.
This is one of the critical long-term advantages of organic food production.
Although animals which are raised organically would finally still be slaughtered for food, they would at least suffer less in the course of their lives. I'm sure you have seen pictures or videos of animals being raised in cramped conditions, almost like prisoners, in farms.
Due to cleaner and healthier living conditions, the animals would also be less likely to suffer from dangerous diseases often associated with commercial farming methods - avian flu, mad cow disease, to name a couple.
For further information on what animals go through in conventional animal farms, read the page
discussing the advantages of vegetarian diet choices.
People who work in organic farms are better off than those who work in commercial farms, as they are less exposed to harmful chemicals as well as various dangerous diseases, as mentioned above.
Chemical pesticides which are used on commercial farms end up in the atmosphere and on the bodies of farm workers. Such exposure causes short-term illnesses - abdominal pains, dizziness, headaches, skin problems, etc, as well as long-term diseases, including cancer and respiratory conditions.
This helps to keep rural and farming communities alive and thriving. I don't think we want the whole world to become an urban jungle, do we? I don't think that's sustainable, anyway.
When you buy from local organic farmers, you are also minimizing the need for undue transport, storage, packaging, etc - this reduces costs and also benefits the environment in terms of less wastes and pollution created. This is one of the subtle advantages of organic food choices.
Many people agree that organically grown produce taste better than their commercially grown counterparts. And this goes beyond anecdotal evidence. The Washington State University actually carried out a study in 2001, which affirmed that organic apples are sweeter, firmer and have better texture.
Try it for yourself! Chances are, you too will be able to taste the difference. Dig your teeth into a delicious organically grown apple - you may never want to eat commercially grown apples again.
In general, most food manufacturers are mainly concerned about making money; there is little or no interest in providing to consumers foods which are wholesome and health-promoting. On the other hand, many manufacturers of organic food products do bother. By supporting them, we can help to keep them going, even thriving.
Organic farming benefits animals, people, and the environment. By eating organic produce, we also very directly support and encourage the practice of organic farming.
All in all, it is clear to me that the organic food advantages are numerous. Organic farming and methods is a system which takes the big-picture and long-term view into account. It produces good and healthy food with minimal damage done to the environment and ecosystems, both in the present and in the long run.
Organically grown foods are clean, natural and healthy - makes total sense to me to eat them!
By eating organic, we can reap the advantages of organic food consumption, including its
many health benefits,
as well as directly contribute to the advantages of organic food production. Double delight - isn't that great?
Read More: More on Organic Food | Understanding Nutrition and its Importance | Nutrition Health Articles - Foods, Diets, Supplements, Nutrients and more | Information on some Herbs | Favorite Herbs, Herbals Formulas and Foods | Natural Health Supplements - What to Consider | Home Page | Site Search
Organic food is undoubtedly best for health. Wish to grow your own organic food? Click here to learn the secrets behind growing healthy organic food from someone who has been producing his own for over 17 years.
Introduction | What is Organic Food? | Definition of Organic Food | About Natural and Organic Food - some thoughts | Pros | Advantages of Organic Food Production & Consumption | Health Benefits of Organic Food | Benefits of Consuming Organic Meats | Organic Food Benefits Children Too | Eating Organic | Challenges of Eating Organic | Tips for an Organic Diet and Lifestyle | Buying Organic Food - some thoughts | Organic Food Cost - how to lower it | Distinguishing Natural and Organic Foods | More Information | Organic Blog, Websites, Books & Resources
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