As we are now part way through organic September, we felt it would be useful to write a bit about what organic really means?
So, what does organic mean?
Organic farming is farming practices that avoid the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides or artificial chemicals during the farming process. Whilst standards can vary country to country organic farming should feature practices that conserve biodiversity and promote ecological balance.
So how do we know what we are buying is organic?
How do we know when we are buying our organic kidney beans that they are in fact organic?
In the UK to farm, package, sell (be part of the supply chain) organic products you have to be registered with one of the governments approved organic bodies. This means that shops cannot legally sell organic products without being certified.
Why is this and what does this mean?
By ensuring that every step of organic sales is certified organic it ensures that when you buy a product you know it is organic, being registered with one of the organic bodies has strict guidelines that have to be followed to ensure that what you say is organic in fact is. It means that through every step of growing/production of organic food, that there is trackability from the packet on the shelf all the way back to the farm it was grown.
So, what are the benefits of organic farming?
Organic farming aims to create mid and long-term farming practices that promote ecological sustainability, it aims to put in place practices that allow farming with long term benefits. One large benefit that we can look at is soil fertility, and how organic farming can mean farming crops without the use of chemical fertilisers that are damaging to the soil.
You can read more about the benefits of organic farming here.
Another plus to this (and personally the reason why I try to buy organic when I can) is that GMO crops are prohibited in organic farming, that is to say organic is always GMO free. GMO farming can open a multitude of debates, for me personally the one aspect of it that really stands out is the human ethics behind SOME farms that use GMO crops.
The documentary The True Cost, whilst being a film that directly looks at the fast fashion industry, it has a very powerful and informative segment on the human rights issues behind GMO crops grown for clothing so is well worth a watch.
I have added some extra website links for those that may be interested in reading up about organic farming and practices at the bottom of the blog.
At Arjuna we are certified with the Soil Association to be able to pack and sell organic products, we also sell only organic fresh fruit and vegetables from produces that are also certified with an organic body approved by the government.
We of course understand that not everyone can afford or is in a position to be able to buy organic products, but we do hope that this has been an interesting read for you!