Pesticides are poisons, designed to kill living things. Over the last many years, farming across the country has become increasingly dependent on pesticides, fertilizers, and hormones. While using these items contribute to increasing yields, they cannot possibly be good on the environment let alone on human health. Thousands of farmers have switched to organic growing methods with the support of consumers that are conscious of protecting their bodies and nature.
The United States Department of Agriculture defines organic foods as
“Production of organic foods does not use pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic (or sewage based) fertilizers or radiation. Organic emphasizes the utilization of renewable resources as well as conservation of land and water.”Increasing concerns about food safety and the fact that most processed foods contain genetically modified products is causing organics to rise in popularity. Organically grown foods mean that these foods have been grown on land that is absent of any chemicals for a minimum of three years. The crops are grown without the use of pesticides or any chemicals whatsoever. Organic foods are processed and packaged without the use of artificial preservatives, colorings, irradiation or any other additives. Animal products certified as organic must come from livestock that has had access to the outdoors, has not been treated with hormones or antibiotics, and has been feed only organic food.
In October 2002, the United States Department of Agriculture put in place a national system for labeling organic food. Foods that consist of at least ninety five percent organic ingredients can carry the USDA’s organic seal. Foods that are made of at least seventy percent organic can carry a label with the phrase “Made with Organic Ingredients.”
The cost of organic food tends to be a little bit higher than non-organic foods. Larger demands are placed on the producer who follows stricter standards in their growing, processing, and distributing the product. Despite higher prices, consumer still choose to buy organic foods because they feel it is healthier due to no pesticide residues. Purchasing locally grown organic produce is the best choice. It is usually very fresh and by doing so it supports the local economy.
The production of organic food is a wise environmental choice also
Industrialized farming poses the threat of pesticide and chemical run-off that result in the contamination of watersheds. Organic farming creates a richer soil with the use of crop cover, and diverse crop rotations. Crop covers are vital in organic farming, they add nitrogen, insect protection, and retain moisture. Crop rotations helps prevent pests from recurring, can slow soil erosion, and it also varies the nutrient demands placed on the fields. Organic composts are used as fertilizer.
In summary, organic foods can be a bit more costly, but in the end they are worth their cost. The organic farmer works in harmony with nature and with the consumer.