Organic food and the hype surrounding it has always been a cause of concern for me. I find it extremely bothersome that so many individuals fall victim to the belief that organic food is what we should all be aiming to eat, considering organic food, unless meticulously monitored, is a farce.
That’s right, a farce.
Before you pull up google and start searching for facts to prove me wrong, hear me out. As I said, organic food is a farce unless it is grown and raised in an incredibly strict and closely monitored manner. Growing up on a farm, I have had plenty of exposure to the concept of organic food. I have also had significant experience with growing and raising vegetables and herbs on our farm, thanks to my sister’s vegetable business.
This is where things need to be cleared up – what constitutes how organic food is grown, and what constitutes as justification for categorizing something as organic.
For example, my sister grows all of her own vegetables and herbs in a field on our farm. She uses no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or insecticides, nor any chemicals whatsoever. We hoe the garden by hand and pick the produce by hand when it is ready. The sun and rain are the only forces behind the development and growth of her produce, and we seed the plants by hand. My sister categorizes her produce as chemical free, but NOT as organic.
Confused? Let me explain.
In order for something to be truly organic, it has to be planted and raised in an environment that has had absolutely zero exposure to chemicals and different pesticides. It has to be grown in soil that has never been used to grow any other crops, nor can it be grown anywhere near another field that has housed other crops, because rainfall could wash away chemicals residing in the neighbouring soil and carry them into the organic field. An organic field cannot even be fertilized with manure produced by an non-organic animal because of the risk that chemicals may remain in their excrement from food previously ingested.
If it is animals being raised, in order for them to be organic, they can only eat raw foods. They cannot eat grass that has been sprayed with any type of insecticide, they cannot eat any produce that has come into contact with pesticides, nor can they drink water that has any chance of coming into contact with chemicals or non-organic substances. They also cannot come into contact with non-organic animals.
Basically, if you’re going to categorize something as organic, you have to grow everything yourself, and you have to be excessively diligent in your growing practices. Large companies producing goods that they claim to be organic are totally inaccurate and misleading in their claims, because there is no way that they have access to enough ‘virgin’ or untouched soil to produce the mass quantities of ‘organic’ produce they are selling.
Furthermore, food that is deemed organic is significantly higher in cost than non-organic food, meaning the average person cannot afford it. According to an article by The Huffington Post, “Stanford researchers basically analyzed a huge number of studies on organic foods (237, to be exact) and concluded that they are no more nutritious — as measured by their content of select vitamins and minerals — than their conventional brethren”. So, if it has been proven that organic food has zero superiority over non-organic food, why are we paying so much more money for it?
Organic is not the standardized categorization for what is recognized as the most superior form of food. Chemical free is far more realistic and honest, and I encourage you to educate yourself about the complications or organic food.