Anyone with two ears, two eyes, or a health nut for a friend has more than likely heard of organic foods, why they’re so good for us, and why they’re good for the environment. The growth of the organic industry has been going on for longer than most people probably realize. It can be beneficial to learn more about the industry as a whole in addition to just how advantageous buying, consuming, and wearing organic products can be.
Understanding What Organic Means
In order for a product to be an organic one, it first has to meet specific requirements and maintain those requirements. An organic crop has to be grown in soil that hasn’t been modified and is safe. The crop also has to be grown away from other conventional products. Anything that’s organic can’t be grown with the use of genetically modified organisms, synthetic pesticides, sewage sludge-based fertilizers, or petroleum-based fertilizers.
In terms of organic livestock, they have to be able to roam free outdoors and be fed with organic feed. Organic livestock must also be raised without growth hormones, antibiotics, or any kind of animal by-product.
Before the invention of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, farmers relied on crop rotation, natural pest control, and manure fertilizers in order to grow organic food. In 2011 America’s organic industry flourished by nearly ten percent and exceeded $31 billion in sales. The organic industry is one of the fastest growing in American agriculture. The success of the organic industry has also led to higher levels of awareness and education regarding organic and non organic products.
Another advantage of the growing organic industry is that it has been known to lead to more job opportunities. It’s entirely possible that the organic industry can help increase America’s national employment percentages.
Benefits of Organic Foods
One of the biggest benefits of eating organic food and wearing organic cotton is that they contain fewer pesticides. The reason that pesticides are such a big deal is that they can potentially harm children and fetuses because their immune systems are still developing. Pesticides can also lead to health problems in adults.
Another benefit of choosing organic food is that it allows you to truly taste whatever food you’re eating at the time. You can usually tell the difference between an organic food and a non organic food simply by the taste. By choosing to buy organic you can feel better knowing that you’re doing the environment a favor since organic farming doesn’t cause as much pollution, reduces erosion of the soil, conserves water, and doesn’t use as much energy.
The Price of Organic Food
It’s no secret that organic foods and products cost more than their non organic counterparts. One of the main reasons for this is that the lack of chemicals causes a need for more labor to take care of tasks like hand-weeding and cleaning up dirty water. Since the organic industry is growing, it means that more people are demanding organic foods and products, which also influences the price. Fertilizer is also more expensive for organic crops.
Start slow when it comes to buying organic products and foods. Make sure that any organic product that you buy is truly organic and not just labeled as such.