A Word About Organics
The buzz word today is ‘sustainability' and only organic agriculture can sustain an environment capable of providing nutritious food.
Advantages of Organic Farming
Health of the Soil
- The health of the soil is of primary importance. All our produce is certified by the Soil Association – a body who set the highest organic standards. Organic food can only grow on healthy soil and the Soil Association measure the amount of nutrients in the soil – which pass directly into the food.
- Through growing in healthy soil the plants benefit from the rich nutrients. These in turn benefit whoever eats the plant. In non-organic farming it is possible to add chemicals in place of natural nutrients in order to make a plant a certain shape or size. For example, this may produce a perfectly round, perfectly coloured and juicy orange – however it may not actually contain any vitamin C.
- Organic farming avoids the use of chemicals – these are added to the non-organic production cycle for a number of reasons: (i) to boost yield – e.g. by preventing disease or by speeding up growth; (ii) to feed the plant in order to adopt characteristics such as colour; (iii) to control pests who might attack the plants. It should be noted that none of these actually benefit the consumer in terms of creating more nutritious, or even tasty, food. Organic farming has proven that the desirable elements of these techniques, such as disease and pest control, can be achieved to a large extent without the use of chemicals. It is also clear from this that organic farming is going to be more expensive at the production stage than non-organic farming.
- Organic farming does not cause pollution. The chemicals used in non-organic farming contaminate the environment and other supplies which we rely on, for example, water. This has to be cleared up – the chemicals added to produce food have to be taken out of the environment in order to produce clean water. This cost is paid by consumers in the form of taxes. Organic agriculture benefits the environment by encouraging bio-diversity in a mutually supportive arrangement – the ecosystem is part of the production process which in turn supports the ecosystem.
- As organic food is more nutritious it can be seen to promote health. Non-organic food on the other hand is detrimental to health - the chemicals used will cause the body to absorb toxins which can impair the immune system. This will surely contribute in some way to the burden on the National Health System. Again, we pay for this through taxes.
- Organic food is good value – when you consider that it does not create the extra costs of cleaning up pollution and costs to the NHS. If these costs were included in the price of non-organic food this would show organic food to be good value. Even if non-organic food still costs less than organic food, is it worth saving a few pence if it is going to create pollution and health problems?