Healthy eating is a great start towards a healthier life. How foods are grown can impact both your health and the environment.
Organic food is produced by farmers who grow, handle and process crops without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, or artificial ingredients. It is not radiated and does not contain genetically engineered ingredients. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given to antibiotics or growth hormones.
The organic industry is growing rapidly, with increases of 20-30 percent annually. Retail sales increased by 700 percent over 13 yr old period from 1990. More than $20 billion worth of organic foods are now produced in Australia each year. Many are exported to and New Zealand exports of organic foods are worth $70 million per year. Australia has almost half the world’s area of land certified for organic production.
Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.
Organic farming uses natural fertilizers such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants. To minimize the disease they use preventive measure such as rotational gazing and clean housing. It is more expensive than conventionally grown food and many small farms choose to forgo certification.
‘Organic-certified produce’ means the food was grown, harvested, stored and transported without the use of synthetic chemicals, irradiation and genetic engineering. However, foods sold as organic are expected to contain negligible quantities of pesticide residues.
There may be a greater benefit in shielding children from pesticide residues since their bodies are smaller and eat ales varied diet.
Organic foods are more nutritious and now a regular feature at most supermarkets. They are usually fresher when eaten because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer.
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