Organic farming is becoming increasingly important as we strive to create a healthier future. Increasingly, people are looking for ways to reduce their exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and toxins, and organic farming provides a solution. Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on natural processes and techniques, such as crop rotation and natural pest control, to produce food in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way possible. Organic farming is beneficial to the environment, the economy, and public health. Not only does it reduce the use of toxic chemicals and pesticides, it also reduces water pollution and helps to maintain soil fertility. Further, organic food is often more nutritious and better tasting than its non-organic counterparts. As the need for organic farming continues to increase, it is important to understand how you can help support this important movement.
Organic farming is the cultivation of crops and livestock using methods that integrate organic practices into the production process. Organic systems are usually managed with minimal or no use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers, as well as using fully or partially organic animal feed. Organic livestock production is usually limited to animals that have been fed an organic diet, and inorganic feed is prohibited. Organic crops are produced without the use of most conventional pesticides and fertilizers and are grown using techniques such as crop rotation, bio-restoration, and beneficial insect grazing. Organic systems are also often more resilient to changing climate conditions than conventional systems. Organic farming systems can integrate a wide variety of crops and livestock. Crops may include fruits and vegetables, legumes, and grains such as wheat, barley, and lentil. Animals may be kept as free-range or pastured, or as indoor or outdoor fed.
Producing food using organic methods benefits both the environment and the health of consumers. Organic agriculture is more sustainable than conventional agriculture and produces healthier food. While the benefits of organic agriculture are clear, the same cannot be said for conventional methods. Conventional agriculture has been shown to negatively affect the environment and to negatively impact human health through exposure to toxic pesticides and other chemicals. Organic agriculture reduces the negative effects of conventional agriculture by avoiding many of these harmful practices. For example Organic farming reduces the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides by 80% to 95%; cultivating restricted varieties of plants, using crop rotation, and other techniques allow organic farmers to use a wide variety of natural pesticides; natural predators and parasites in the soil and on crops help to keep pests below acceptable levels; and water pollution is significantly reduced because organic farming does not involve the use of chemical fertilizers.
Farmers in the U.S. have been switching to organic farming in large numbers for several decades, with the number of organic farms growing at roughly twice the rate of non-organic farms. Now, the organic food industry is worth over one trillion dollars. Organic farming is growing in popularity across the globe as consumers become more aware of the health benefits associated with eating organic foods. A recent survey found that 43% of consumers are likely to buy more organic products in the future due to the growing health benefits they have been shown to offer. This survey also found that consumers are willing to pay more for organic products, with 22% of respondents saying they are willing to pay more for organic foods than non-organic alternatives.
Buying organic food is a simple way to support organic farming and organic food production. Generally, organic foods are produced without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, organic foods generally do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), hormones, antibiotics, or other additives that conventional foods may contain. By buying organic, you are directly helping farmers to keep their businesses afloat by avoiding the pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that conventional farming relies heavily on. As more farmers implement organic methods, the demand for organic farmers will continue to grow, which will lead to more jobs in the industry. With this in mind, you can encourage others to buy organic foods by sharing this article on social media or by word of mouth.