Most of us are keenly aware of the dire state of nowadays food industry. One of the most basic things of our human existence – our sustenance – is in jeopardy. Buying foods that nourish us rather than poison us can be a daunting task indeed. The fact that in our highly advanced and civilised societies we require labels deeming our food ‘organic’ or free of genetic modifications is rather funny and sad at the same time. The dichotomy of ‘modern living’.
Though we should be happy that institutions and organisations exist that keep big corporations in check and make sure that consumers can make well-informed choices when purchasing their daily bread and all their other food items.
What is organic?
The dictionary defines the word – in relation to food – as follows: produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.
The European Union’s aims for organic farming include the following:
- responsible use of natural resources and energy, so that the environmental impact is minimal
- honouring biodiversity
- enhancing and maintaining water quality as well as soil fertility
- the fulfilment of animal’s specific behavioural needs
For food products bearing this green logo at least 95% of the agricultural ingredients need to be of organic origin. Together with the logo, the code of the control body must be displayed as well. This indicates where the agricultural raw materials of the actual product have been farmed.
Does the EU allow the use of chemicals?
One of the objectives of organic farming is to avoid the use of pest repellants, herbicides, and the like altogether. Should their use be necessary then farmers may only use certain products. Any substance used in organic agriculture to fight pests or plant diseases must be pre-approved by the European Commission. The use of fertilises too is strictly regulated and must be pre-approved as well.
The European Union organic production rules also prohibit the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) as well as the use of hormones for livestock. If an animal is sick and in need of medication, antibiotics may be administered.
From the farm onto your plate
It’s not only the farmer that needs to play by the rules. The very same strict rules and regulations apply equally to every company and institution that is involved in the process of bringing the food from the place of its origin onto your plate. This includes the packaging and storage processes as well as the distribution and transportation of the foods.
Is it worth it to spend more money on organic foods? That’s a question many of us ask ourselves regularly. There certainly are many Pros to organic foods. It’s not only better quality, containing less harmful chemicals that hurt our health and longevity, organic farming is also treating the animals with more dignity and respect. The same goes for our environment as well, which in term benefits us Humans again. We are part of a living planet and everything is interconnected. Want to find out more about this intricate cycle of life, click here.