Going organic is not exactly cheap or easy and although it’s the healthier alternative, how certain are we that the organic way is the correct way? PICTURE: Supplied
Going organic is not exactly cheap or easy and although it’s the healthier alternative, how certain are we that the organic way is the correct way?
Organic foods are produced by farming methods that avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides; growth regulators and chemicals that could be harmful to the environment that are known to alter the natural compounds of the foods manufactured.With the organic food trend consumers are not only concerned about fuelling their bodies with the healthiest foods, but also care a great deal about preserving the natural resources and biodiversity of the environment in which these fruits and vegetables are being harvested.
Farmers, traders and every entity involved in the organic production process is inspected and certified each year. This ensures that the product measures up to the requirements of the target market. What we consume each day has a major impact on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing; all based on the underlying method of how the food we consume is being grown.
Therefore there can be no cutbacks or shortcuts being taken when producing organic foods and the farmers entrusted to meet the organic production requirements evidently play an essential role in the wellbeing of the consumer. Eliot Coleman, pioneer organic farmer, author of The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Farm can attest to this statement. "Organic farming appealed to me because it involved searching for and discovering nature’s pathways, as opposed to the formulaic approach of chemical farming. The appeal of organic farming is boundless; this mountain has no top, this river has no end", says Coleman.
Studies have indicated that the chemical compound in organic farming produce higher concentrations of nutrients and reduced levels of pesticide residues. Therefore organic fruits and vegetables are not only healthy but is environment friendly as well. Despite all the positive attributes organic farming displays, some people still question the advantages it has to offer.
The fact that organic foods don’t contain preservatives means it is often fresher with higher levels of nutrients. Consumers with food allergies will discover that their symptoms have diminished or completely gone away altogether when they only eat organic produce.
With all the hype and health benefits of organic produce one has to wonder why every household in South Africa isn’t raising their families on strictly just organic foods. This is where downfalls regarding organic foods play an essential role. First of all, accessibility is a major factor. Naturally grown produce is much more expensive - the only way farmers can make a profit is by selling their harvest at a higher price. This all comes down to the method used to produce organic foods. Because it takes longer to produce organic foods, local outlets may not always meet the supply and demand consumers have.
Another downfall to take into consideration is that due to the lack of preservatives used, organic foods have a shorter storage life and spoil at a faster rate. This means that the consumer would have to double or even triple the grocery budget for food depending on the size of the household and the amount of food various families consume.