Organic farming (OF) is a farming system that uses environmentally friendly methods of controlling weeds, pests, and diseases. Organic production methods mean that at least 95% of the raw materials of agricultural origin are organic. Products with less than 70% organic content may not refer to organic production methods. It prohibits synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and emphasizes animal welfare in animal husbandry. It also takes care of the overall harmony of the agroecosystem and its biodiversity. And also prioritizes renewable energy sources and the recycling of raw materials. OF adheres to globally recognized principles within specific social, economic, geo-climatic, and cultural contexts. The early twentieth century saw three important movements: biodynamic, organic, and biological agriculture. In other words, organic farming is a method of farming that involves growing and feeding crops without the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Also, genetically modified organisms are not allowed.
It relies on ecologically balanced agricultural principles such as crop rotation, green manures, organic waste, biological pest control, and mineral and rock additives. Organic farming uses pesticides and fertilizers if considered natural and avoids using various petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides.
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Businesses (IFOAM) has established the concepts and practices of OF in its guidelines as the principles of health, ecology, fairness, and care.
- It is maintaining and enhancing the health of the soil, plants, animals, people, and the planet as a whole and indivisible.
- Should build OF on living ecological systems and cycles, collaborating with them, mimicking them, and contributing to their sustainability.
- It should base on the idea of equity, which refers to connections that guarantee equality in the shared environment and life chances.
- The care principle means managing in a preventative and responsible manner to safeguard the environment, health, and well-being of present and future generations.
All countries have established memorable logos for organic products and indicate that the inspection system covers the products OF certification now implemented in approximately 120 countries worldwide. Improved soil fertility and higher floral and faunal diversity have found in OF trials.
Growth of Organic Farming
Organic farming (OF) developed in the twentieth century as a reaction to the harmful effects of modern industrial agriculture. These effects, caused mainly by the use of agrochemicals, include contamination of individual components of the environment, reduction of soil fertility, reduction of plant vitality and immunity, loss of biodiversity, and deterioration of food quality, which adversely affects health.
Another reason for the development of OF was the intensive animal industry which brings cruelty to animals, increasing use of drugs, use of low-quality feed, poor health condition of animals, and shortening their life span.
A final effect of industrial agriculture is rural depopulation. As an alternative to conventional agricultural methods, OF methods are developed mainly by farmers, verified in practice, and proven by scientific research. Currently, OF is defined by law and government-issued trademarks for organic food products. Both organically cultivated acres and the organic food market continue to grow.
Reasons for organic farming
The planet’s population is skyrocketing, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to feed the world. The need of the hour is sustainable farming and food production for all. Despite our food choices, organic food is the best choice you will ever make, which means embracing organic farming methods. Here are the reasons why we need to adopt organic farming methods:
To reap the benefits of nutrients.
Food from organic farms is packed with nutrients like vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and other micronutrients compared to conventional farms. Because organic farms are managed and raised using sustainable practices, some researchers collected and tested vegetables, fruits, and grains from organic and conventional farms. The conclusion was that foods from organic farms are more nutritious than those from commercial or traditional farms.
Avoid using GMOs.
According to statistics, genetically modified foods (GMOs) invade natural food supplies at an alarming rate. They have detrimental repercussions that are unfathomable. The fact that they are not identified is a severe threat to them. The best way to reduce these harmful consequences of GMOs is to stick to organic foods from reliable suppliers.
Natural and superior flavor
Organically farmed food tastes better and is more natural, as anyone who has tried it can agree. The best flavor comes from soil that is balanced and well-fed. Farmers that grow organically always put quality before quantity.
Supporting agriculture directly
Investing in organic farming is a wise move toward a prosperous future. Over the past year, numerous governments have provided substantial subsidies and tax exemptions to traditional farming methods. This has caused a proliferation of commercially produced foods that have given rise to risky diseases like cancer. Governments need to invest in organic farming technologies to solve these issues and save the future. You already know that it all begins with buying food from organic sources.
To prevent antibiotics, drugs, and hormones in animal products.
Commercial milk and meat are highly susceptible to contamination by hazardous substances. A statistic in an American magazine revealed that more than 90% of the chemicals consumed by the population come from meat tissue and dairy products. And the vast majority of pesticides consumed by people from poultry, meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products, and the animals and birds that produce these products sit at the top of the food chain. This means they are fed chemicals and poisons.
Medicines, antibiotics, and growth hormones are also injected into these animals and transferred directly to meat and dairy products. Hormonal supplementation of farmed fish, beef and dairy products contributes enormously to the ingestion of chemicals. These chemicals only come with many complications, such as genetic problems, cancer risk, tumor growth, and other complications during puberty.
Essential aspects of organic farming
1. Use organic matter to preserve soil quality and promote biological activity.
2. Utilizing soil microorganisms to supply crop nutrient curves
3. Using legumes to fix nitrogen in the soil
4. The control of weeds and pests using techniques like crop rotation, biodiversity, natural predators, organic fertilizers, and suitable chemical, thermal, and biological interventions
5. Livestock care, housing, diet, health, maintenance, and reproduction
6. Protecting the environment as a whole and protecting wildlife and natural habitats
Why can modern agriculture not sustain?
- Soil fertility loss is brought on by improper crop rotation and overuse of chemical fertilizers.
- During the rainy season, nitrate runoff pollutes water supplies.
- Deep plows and lots of rain bring on soil erosion.
- It increased fuel needs for agriculture.
- Sprays containing hazardous biocides are used to manage weeds and pests.
- The treatment of animals cruelly, including how they are kept, fed, bred, and killed.
- Biodiversity decline brought on by monoculture.
- Native animals and flora forced to make way for hybrids and exotic species.
Advantages of organically produced food and agriculture
Healthier nutritional habits
Foods grown organically have a higher nutritional content than those grown conventionally. A food item’s mineral and vitamin content determines how nutritious it is. Plants and animals have better access to soil nutrients thanks to organic farming.
Maintains our health
Chemicals are not present in organic food. This is so because, unlike their commercial counterparts, organic farmers never employ chemicals during any aspect of cultivating food. Natural farming practices used by organic farmers, who do not hurt either people or the environment. These nutrients guard against deadly conditions like diabetes and cancer.
Pesticides, herbicides, and hazardous chemicals do not use in organic farming. Studies show that many people who consume the hazardous compounds employed in conventional agriculture have died from illnesses like cancer. By avoiding these poisons, their ailments and diseases reduce.
The validity of organic food is high.
Any product must go through quality control and closely examine the manufacturing process to considered organic food. The same idea holds for marketplaces around the world. Customers benefit significantly from this since they get actual organic food. These quality inspections and investigations uncover those who would substitute commercially manufactured food to obtain the organic food label.
The idea that organic food is more expensive than conventional food widely held. They are cheaper because they do not require the use of costly pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides. Of course, you can get organic food at a fair price directly from the producer.
The taste of food also influences its quality. The flavor of organic foods is frequently superior to other ones. Fruits and vegetables cultivated organically have more flavor because of their sugar content. We can use the Brix analysis method to gauge the quality of fruits and vegetables.
Organic farming practices are eco-friendly
Chemicals used on commercial farms that leak into the soil severely contaminate the nearby water bodies. This phenomenon has an impact on both plant and animal life as well as people. These harsh chemicals not use in organic farming. The surroundings are secure.
Extended shelf life
Organic plants have more cellular structural and metabolic integrity than conventional crops. It enables the long-term storage of organic food. The advantages of organic farming include non-toxic insect and weed control, low input costs, preservation of the ecological balance, and promotion of biodiversity and environmental protection.
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