Organic food is that food which is produced by ways that adjust to the requirements of organic farming. Requirements differ worldwide, however organic farming options practice that cycle resources, promote ecological stability, and preserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating natural products might prohibit the usage of certain pesticides and fertilizers within the farming methods used to provide such products. Organic foods usually will not be processed utilizing irradiation, industrial solvents, or artificial food additives.
Within the 21st century, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and lots of different countries require producers to acquire special certification to market their food as organic. Though the production of kitchen gardens may very well be organic, promoting food having an organic label is supervised by governmental food safety authorities, such because of the National Organic Program of the US Department of Agriculture or European Commission.
From an environmental perspective, fertilizing, overproduction, and using pesticides in conventional farming could negatively have an effect on ecosystems, biodiversity, groundwater, and drinking water provides. These environmental and well-being issues are meant to be minimized or prevented in organic farming. Organic farming has higher production costs but lower yields, it has higher consumer prices and labor costs compared to conventional farming.
- For the vast majority of its historical past, agriculture might be described as having been organic; only throughout the 20th century was a big supply of latest products, usually deemed not organic, launched into food production. The organic farming movement arose within the 1940s in response to the industrialization of agriculture.
- Lord Northbourne, in 1939 coined the term organic farming in his book Look to the Land (1940), out of his belief of “the farm as organism,”
to explain a holistic, ecologically balanced strategy to farming—in contrast to what he referred to as chemical farming, which relied on “imported fertility” and “can’t be self-sufficient nor an organic whole.”
- Within the industrial era, organic gardening reached a modest stage of recognition in the US within the 1950s. Within the 1960s, environmentalists and the counterculture championed natural food; nevertheless, it was only in the 1970s that a nationwide market for organic foods developed.
- Early shoppers fascinated by organic food would search for non-chemically treated, non-use of unapproved pesticides, recent or minimally processed food. They largely had to purchase instantly from growers.
- Within the 1970s, curiosity in organic food grew with the rise of the environmental movement, and was additionally spurred by food-related health scares just like the issues about Alar that arose within the mid-1980s.
What is the meaning of “organic” label on food?
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines, sets, and regulates the use and meaning of “Organic” on food labels. It’s the term used to explain raw or processed agricultural products and ingredients which were organically grown (farmed) and dealt with in compliance with the standards of April 2001, which have been totally enforced since October 2002. These standards prohibit the use of:
• Most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
• Sewer sludge fertilizers
• Genetic engineering
• Growth hormones
• Artificial ingredients
• Many synthetic additives
The food items covered by the “organic” label
The terms Organic food and Organic farming consist of the below mentioned food items:
• Fruits and Vegetables, including Mushrooms
• Nuts and Seeds
• Dairy Products and Eggs
• Livestock Feed
• Meats and Poultry
Organically grown crops
Organically grown crops are produced without using synthetic substances such as the fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. No prohibited substance is applied to the land for 3 years before the harvesting. The land has defined boundaries and buffer zones which prevent the crop from contacting any prohibited substances from adjoining lands. Soil fertility and crop nutrient management are done in a way that improve soil conditions, minimize the soil erosion, and prevent the contamination of crops, water or soil by any pathogenic organisms.
Organically grown poultry, eggs, meats and dairy
The livestock is fed rations comprising agricultural products, pasture and organically produced forage. There are prohibitions related to animal feeding. Use of hormonal injections is prohibited to promote growth. Supplements in excess of adequate nutrition are not allowed. Mammal or poultry slaughter by-products are not allowed to feed. Organic livestock is fed sufficient nutrients. They are kept in proper housing and sanitation conditions.
Market growth of organic products
Organic foods have turned out to be a significant aspect of sustainability. And worldwide organic food and drinks sales surpassed $100 billion for the first time in 2018, based on new research by Ecovia Intelligence. This marks a rise of 6% from 2017.
The report notes that the most important markets for organic products are in North America and Europe. The combined revenue share of those two areas is 90%. Though gross sales stay concentrated in these areas, revenue share has declined from 97% in 2005. A variety of countries with a powerful tradition of exporting organic crops are actually creating strong internal markets; these countries embody China, India, and Brazil.
In terms of country markets, the US has the biggest market for organic foods and drinks, comprising about 45% of global sales. The German, French, Italian, and Canadian markets are the next largest. When it comes to market share, Denmark leads with nearly 14% share of retail food sales. The best spenders of organic products are in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and Austria.
Rising consumer awareness of organic food products and widening availability are two main drivers of global growth.
Key players in the organic food industry
• Amy’s Kitchen
• Green and Black’s
• Ebro Foods
• Earth’s Best
• Organic Valley
• WhiteWave Foods
• Hain Celestial
• General Mills
Use of organic foods in our daily lives certainly has benefits. The biggest benefit of using organic food is the reduced exposure to pesticides owing to the imposed regulations on organic farming. The use of antibiotics in conventional agriculture is also reduced. Consuming organic food has a link with lowering the risks of allergies in childhood. Though it has questionable advantage of whether it provides better treatment of animals or the livestock. Even with the advantages the biggest disadvantage of organic food is the food being costly and restrictive than the regularly consumed food.
1. What is the meaning of organic food?
Organic food is that food which is produced by ways that adjust to the requirements of organic farming.
2. Who first coined the term organic farming?
Lord Northbourne, first coined the term organic farming.
3. Who regulates the organic food labelling?
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines, sets, and regulates the use and meaning of “Organic” on food labels.
4. Which foods are in the organic foods list?
Fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, dairy products, eggs, meats.