Whenever I visit a grocer, I am impressed by the organic food selection. What once was a niche trend, with items only offered in health or specialty shops, has infiltrated the current market. With the rise of organic products, it is important to understand the health and environmental benefits of this system.
To be organic, food must be grown without chemicals, pesticides, or other artificial ingredients. Although regulations vary per country, with some having stricter certification requirements, organic food is produced holistically. Ditching conventional farming methods, organic farmers prioritize the quality of their produce over quantity. They use natural plants such as snap peas to provide shade and shelter to crops in place of chemicals and pesticides. Without these artificial products, the quality of the soil improves. Moreover, by planting many crops and using natural methods, organic farms produce rich, nutritious soil. This is crucial to the fight against climate change as healthy, nutritious soil can absorb more carbon, thus reducing the number of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere!
Additionally, organic farming is better for the environment as it requires less fossil fuel-powered resources. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, “emissions in conventional production systems are always higher than those of organic systems.” This is due to the production area of these systems. Since organic farms are smaller giant fossil fuel burning technologies are not used for harvest. Rather, manual labour or greener technologies are used to harvest this produce. Thus, organic farming helps protect the environment and the stewards of these farms as their contact with harmful chemicals, pesticides, and equipment is significantly reduced.
Consuming organic food will also benefit your health. Organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious, free of harmful chemicals and artificial ingredients. Moreover, organic animal products such as meat, eggs, and milk are produced without antibiotics or hormones. Not only are they more natural, but I think they taste better too.
With research reports predicting the growth of the global Organic Food and Beverage Industry from $220 billion in 2019 to $620 billion by 2026, these environmental and health benefits have greatly influenced the demand for organic food!
By shopping organic, individuals like you and I can make a change. We can create demand for these organic products, increasing the use of these sustainable practices. By prioritizing the quality of our food over the quantity, we can improve our health while lessening the effects of climate change.