“50 years ago all farming was organic. That was just farming.”
Organic is trendy for sure. I’m slowly learning that it’s necessary too though if you want a healthy you, healthy environment and healthy every-other-living-thing. In fact, sitting round the dinner table recently with some new friends and old farmers I learned that the birth of non-organic farming is relatively recent. More frighteningly I learned that it was born from a ‘quick fix’ in order to use up the excess chemical waste left over from disused ammunition in WW2. I’m not sure about you, but chemicals used in war ending up on my plate and in my body through the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and what not is not the kind of diet I want.
If that’s not a clincher, in the spirit of #OrganicSeptember, I’ve got 5 reasons to go organic for you right here.
- It tastes and is better for you
That’s a fact. There’s research that shows that the nutritional value of organic food way outweighs that of non-organic food. There’s just more of the good stuff in organic – more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and micro nutrients. That’s all because of the more friendly way land and soil is managed in the process of growing food organically. It makes sense then, with all that added good and natural stuff in it that it will taste better too.
- It’s better for the environment
The environment isn’t an abstract thing. It’s where we put our foundations, where our water comes from, where our wildlife lives, where lots of joy can be found and ultimately, what we are reliant on. Organic farming is the business of working with nature, not against it. That means preserving the soil and water quality and allowing the natural ecology of the land to do its thing- uninterfered.
- It means no antibiotics
This one’s a biggy. In what has become common farming practice, and in order to match our bonkers demand for meat, animals are reared with a huge amount of drugs and antibiotics. These drugs are directly passed into the meat and dairy products we then eat, and the potential risk of this is colossal. There is fear that, because of this, antibiotics will at some point become ineffective and in the face of an epidemic, that’s a scary thought. Not only that but the combination of pesticides and hormones also transmitted to meat and dairy eaters through the non-organic farming process, is said to have impacted the rate of tumours, cancers and genetic problems our world is experiencing…
- It’s better for animals & wildlife
For one, the animals reared for organic dairy or meat purposes have a much higher standard of welfare than those that have to ‘live’ through the commercial factory farming process. They are free range and haven’t been subjected to drug after drug. For two, organic farms are usually places where the wider wildlife thrives, with up to 50% more wildlife on organic farms.
- It keeps the land diverse
I saw the problem caused by mono cropping (producing one crop intensively) while on a work trip in Colombia. It’s bad. Diversity of crop is important for survival and we’ve lost a lot of crops in the last century because of monocropping. Imagine if entire lands or countries relied on one crop… Ireland’s infamous potato famine caused devastation when one disease wiped out the whole crop. Rotating crop and ensuring diversity not only protects our futures but it makes for better soil and reduces the need for pesticides themselves. It’s the epitome of working with nature.
I know that the extra cost in buying organic is a luxury not everyone can afford, I really do. When organic is an option though, it’s always the choice I’ll make. It’s a choice that champions wellness for myself, the environment and all living things, and that, in my book, is a cost worth paying.
*To find out more about what organic means check out the Soil Association Website