With the renewed and growing interest in healthy living and well-being, many people have turned to organically grown produce and organically manufactured products. Advocates of the organic movement state that food made from organic farming methods are more nutritious. They also contain no synthetic pesticides or chemicals making them safer and healthier for the body. However, the benefits of the organic movement are not exclusive for us; it is also better for the environment. Here are more reasons why we should go for the big “O”.
1. Organic farming produces less toxic by-products which lessens problems like soil compaction and nutrient depletion. Without synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, soil health is maintained which eliminates the need to convert animal habitat to agricultural lands.
2. Organic farming also promotes the ability of soil to retain water and nutrients therefore reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers. It also improves the land’s biodiversity by attracting new or re-colonizing species to the area (both permanent and migratory), including wild flora and fauna (e.g. birds) and organisms beneficial to the organic system such as pollinators and pest predators.
3. Organic farming prohibits the use of antibiotics which maintain soil balance. Antibiotics used in conventional farming slowly rid the soil of good bacteria and other microscopic organisms disabling the soil’s natural capacity to support life. Meanwhile, organic farming employs a proactive approach preventing pest infestation and disease before they occur. In severe cases, natural herbicides are used to control plant pests and illnesses which pose fewer risks to the environment.
4. Organic farming lessens the tendency for ground water contamination. The synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and antibiotics used in conventional farming contaminate ground water by seeping into the soil and draining to the lower areas where water is stored. Organic farming only uses natural fertilizers like manure and compost which areless harmful to the environment. These substances are easily absorbed and retained in the soil and do not contaminate the ground water supply.
5. Organic farming may also help mitigate climate change because it improves the soil’s ability to retain carbon. Early studies show that organic farming practices (e.g. minimum tillage, returning crop residues to the soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, and the integration of nitrogen-fixing legumes)increase the soil’s carbon retention ability. The more organic carbon in the soil, the greater its power to mitigate the greenhouse effectthus helping in the fight against climate change.
There you have it — five reasons why we should convert to organically grown produce. Not only is it healthy for our bodies, it is also healthy for the environment. Foods produced through organic farming definitely gets mother nature’s two thumbs up!