Organic food is gaining ground…
Once found only is some boutique food stores, organic food can now be found on most supermarket stores. Although it is too early to speculate whether organic food will become ubiquitous, there is no doubt that the organic wave has caught on with younger consumers in India’s metros who are health-conscious and better informed.
Usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and genetically-modified seeds are a strict no-no in organic farming. Organic agriculture uses compost, animal manure and green manure as fertilizer. Weeds are controlled naturally through crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching and tilling. Insects are controlled through traps, good insects and birds.
Organic milk comes from cows who are not given antibiotics or growth hormones and who are fed grass as well as feed prepared form organic grains. Organic meat is from chicken and goats which are fed organic feed and who too should not receive antibiotics and growth hormones.
Basically, organic farming is a sustainable agriculture practice that conserves soil and water, reduces pollution, preserves soil fertility and nutrition, involves crop rotation as well as intercropping and prevents groundwater pollution. Organic farming results in greater retention of carbon in soil rather than as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus helping combat greenhouse effect and global warming.
The benefits of organic food…
Organic food is much healthier than conventional food due to more beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants and vitamin C in the former. Strong nourishment of the soil in organic farming leads to well-nourished plants, which in turns yield food with a high nutritional content.
Organic food is also tastier with natural and nuanced flavours and aromas. It is lighter on the digestive system and also helps reduce acidity and gas. Organic fruits are juicier as they are allowed to ripen on the tree. Absence of pesticide and fertilizer contamination in may in the long-term prevent cancer as well as diseases of kidneys, lungs and liver.
Organic food is still not pocket-friendly in India because non-use of fertilizers and pesticides results in lower yield per acre of organic crop than traditional crop. However as more customers switch to organic foods, cost is bound to come down. You may also note that organic produce or products are cerified by Swiss Ecocert or USDA or OneCert or under 'Participatory Guarantee System' (PGS).