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Organic Food and Its Importance for Our Health and Our Planet

Food constitutes one of the pillars of human survival, besides being a source of our energy. Over the years of evolution, food has played an integral role in our lives and is associated with not only our well-being but also our culture and religious practices. Food is also central to our celebrations and festivals. 

Nevertheless, the constituencies of food have changed a lot over the years. For many of us, not unlike our lives, food has become ‘fast’, which often comes in the form of burgers, pizzas, chow mein and similar . As per the evolution, the best type of food is fresh food–the kind that is mostly alive, freshly killed, or bitten off from plants. 

First of all, let us better understand what organic food is and what could most likely be categorised as fake food. What we are referring to as fake food here is factory-processed stuff with chemicals, heated to high temperature and filled with preservatives. This kind of food is doused in pesticides and filled with artificial fertilizers. 

Fresh or organic food, on the other hand, can be separated into two categories: freshly cooked and raw fresh food. Raw foods are the freshest. They are delicious and contain all the essential minerals and vitamins that food is supposed to contain. There is a range of benefits that come with eating fresh raw fruits and vegetables. 

Freshly cooked foods help us avoid chemicals. Nevertheless, there is a caveat that comes with cooking our food at a temperature above 116 degrees. When we overheat our food, the enzymes and living catalysts that our body needs get destroyed. Therefore, we must refrain from cooking our food at high temperature and make do with steaming, besides eating raw fruits and vegetables.

Meat and eggs should come from farm-raised animals and not from factory farms that feed the animals with antibiotics and other stimulants to have them produce large amounts of food. Not to mention, food packaging and processing cause around 35% of entire carbon emission. These factory-made foods also utilise fossil fuels, land, and water. 

As large corporations occupy large parts of food production in the entire world, cheap and addictive food becomes the new norm, serving the corporations with increased profit. Since globalisation, the purpose of these conglomerates has become to produce large quantities of food and in that attempt, the quality is often undermined. 

Nevertheless, despite all the issues at hand regarding the quality of the food, we are left wondering whether organic food can feed the entire world. The modern organic farming practice goes beyond removing chemicals and pesticides from the harvesting process or resorting to primitive farming. It is the understanding of the biological system to build an optimum farming practice and managing every aspect of it by applying ecological principles.

As per one of the largest studies conducted on how agro-ecological practices affect productivity in the developing world, around 286 projects in 57 countries were analysed by researchers at the University of Essex and researchers found an average yield increase of 79% across a wide variety of crops. 

Moreover, a 2008 U.N Conference on Trade and Development report said that “organic agriculture can be more conducive to food security in Africa than most conventional production systems, and…is more likely to be sustainable in the long term.” 

Now that people all around the world have learned the vast advantages of organic farming and the fact that growing and consuming food naturally is not only good for us but also beneficial for our planet, we are slowly coming to terms with sustainable agriculture and have started on the journey for a healthy ecosystem. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go and the following steps can help us get started:

  • The first step is to figure out your local food market. Food that is grown within 50 km of your residence can be qualified as local food. While it may not be a realistic scale since we don’t know where most of our food comes from, it still serves as an effective parameter to be kept at the back of our heads.
  • The next step is to find shops that sell organic food. Alternatively, you can ask your neighbourhood shops about organic food until they finally give in to your demands and create a supply. Beware that you might have to pay a little extra to get your hands on buying organic food online
  • Identify seasonal food that can grow without pesticides. This food may include papayas, guavas, millet, and chikoos. 
  • You can also choose to grow your own food, especially the greens and the herbs. This will save you from going through markets to find organically grown food. 
  • Lastly, try to include your family in the system. Let them know about the benefits of organic farming and how organic food can help us build better health. You can get them to watch several documentaries and YouTube videos to get them started on organic food. 

Image by Devon Breen from Pixabay 

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