WHAT IS ORGANIC FARMING?
Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.
Examples of organic farming methods include:
* Rotating crops between fields. This helps keep pests from building up and improves soil fertility.
* Planting selected herbs and flowers to attract beneficial insects which ward off unwanted pests.
* Using biological insecticides and make use of pests natural predators to control pest populations.
Organic farming produces nutrient rich, fertile soil which nourishes the plants. Keeping chemicals off the land protects water quality and wild life.
Organic animal suppliers have strict protocols that include treating their cattle humanely and allowing them to mature naturally. They are grazed naturally in a free – range environment minimizing stress and producing high quality meat that is free from contaminants. It costs more to produce as animals grow more slowly on natural grazing., hence more land is needed and higher interest costs are incurred. The certified farm has to produce 90% of the feed on the farm. “Certified Organic Meat” is a guarantee that meat has been produced free from any additions such as chemicals, antibiotics and hormones, and kept separate in the supply chain to the consumer. As only natural, biodegradable products are used, water and the environment become cleaner. Farmers and their workers enjoy healthier working conditions.
The hazards for human health of consuming products contaminated by harmful pesticides include increased risks of cancer, reproductive problems and neurological damage. Organically grown produce on the other hand is free of chemical residues, has a much higher vitamin and mineral content and is usually more flavorsome (which is why many top restaurants prefer to use organic ingredients.
A certified organic product means that the produce and the farming process has been inspected over a period by an independent specialist certification agency to verify organic authenticity to the consumer. This process normally takes place over a time frame of about 3 years.
Look for the certification seal or name of the certification agency label. When you see this claim, it means:-
No harmful chemicals have been applied for at least 3 years.
The farmer and processor have annual certification inspections.
They have kept detailed records of their practices and have a recorded audit trail.
They use ecologically-friendly methods and substances to improve the soil and control pests.