In the context of chemistry, “organic” means anything that contains carbon and includes virtually everything that is considered edible. All types of foods, even pesticides and toxins are considered organic.
However, when it comes to organic foods, the term “organic” means the absence of any artificial, chemical or synthetic inputs and applications in food production.
Organic foods are those foods naturally produced, packaged and retailed without artificial or synthetic chemical applications. How exactly is organic food produced? In a simpler sense, we could say it is just similar to planting crops in our own backyard.
But in a wider sense, organic foods sold in organic market are produced through a system which combines biological, ecological and mechanical approaches that promote the principles of biodiversity, sustainability, ecological balance, natural plant fertilization, natural pest control and soil integrity. These are the principles of organic food production.
So how is Organic Food produced? Here are some explanations of how organic food is produced, from farming to processing, packaging and retailing.
In organic farming, seeds of fruits, vegetables and other crops are organic in nature. Genetically modified seeds are considered inorganic and cannot be used in organic farming. In terms of fertilizer applications, instead of synthetic fertilizers, organic fertilizers are being used such as animal manure, mulches, composts, worm casting, guano, peat, seaweed, etc.
In controlling pests, organic pesticides, organic fungicides, organic insecticides and organic herbicides are used and not the chemical pest control varieties. Aside from these organic alternatives, organic farmers also use approaches that help control pests and promote soil integrity. These techniques include crop rotation, cover crops, multiple cropping, trap crops, mulches, frogs, toads and companion crops.
When it comes to organic poultry, injection of hormones and using chemically enhanced feeds and antibiotics are not allowed.
Organic Processing and Handling
In processing, extraction and preservation of organic foods, organic and mechanical approaches are used instead of chemical solvents. Certainly, processing is done without any chemical preservative, bleaching agent and deodorizers. A good example of organic food processing is the extraction of coconut oil through the use of mechanical expeller that will naturally grind and squeeze the flesh of organic coconuts. In conventional coconut oil extraction, chemical solvents are often used to extract the oil.
Organic Packaging and Retailing
In terms of packaging, farmers and manufacturers of organic foods must obtain organic certification and use its label as directed by the certification body. The label of the packaged organic food should also indicate exactly if the product is 100% organic or 80% organic and so on. The organic products are then transported and retailed in organic market or delivered to households.
Organic food production prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, genetic engineering, growth hormones, irradiation and sewage sludge. Since the requirement is for every organic product to be at least 95% organic, we can be sure of safer food consumption once we include these foods regularly in our diet. We also significantly lower our risks of health problems associated with these potentially harmful chemical processes and additives found in conventionally processed food.
Considering how organic foods are produced, they obviously help promote ecological balance and are healthier than the conventionally processed foods. They are good for our health and safe for the environment as well. So don’t just take all this knowledge for granted. Start a healthy habit for you and your family by switching to organic foods. If you’re fond of eating fruits and vegetables every day, you might as well eat them in organic form. How? Find organic delivery services in your own locality and contact them as soon as possible. These services will deliver boxes of organic fruits and vegetables to your home, making the healthiest foods within your reach.