Best way to understand what the organic approach to food production is
Organic food is rich in value not only in nutritional sense. It is important for sustaining biodiversity, preserving natural resources, taking care of animal welfare and, of course, contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
But why is that so? What is in the core of organic food production? What is involved in growing organic food?
Organic farming is about growing food the old-fashioned way –natural and self-sustaining
The organic approach focuses on the strengths of the farm so that it wouldn’t require outside inputs or non-natural additions in order to flourish.
Organic farmers follow the logic & basics of healthy production and leverage local resources. Some ways in which they do that are:
- They select plant & animal species that are strong & adaptable enough to endure in the local environment.
- That way they do not rely on chemical inputs to ensure that their produce can survive the local environment – it is already adapted to its specifics.
- The seeds they take are from the current produce (or from the neighbor in the area) and the manure they use is made of their food & plant waste.
- That way they maximize the inputs that are generated within their ecosystem instead of looking for outside input.
- And they rearrange their garden every few years to ensure they can sustain the health of the soil.
- That way they make a conscious choice that requires effort. That choice also looks to maximize the quality of the food they get and their farms’ ability to keep yielding produce in the future.
Organic farming is in a way a back to basics approach. It is conceived as a response to overproduction, soil depletion, and negative effects on health & environment from chemical inputs in mass agriculture.
Pretty much organic farming looks at the farm as an ecosystem which can sustain itself, rely on the strength of the local environment and species, and requires minimal outside influence.
In fact, outside influence is specifically addressed as undesired and the cases in which it is used are strictly specified.
There are 2 principles that ensure this approach:
- The production is planned out to use natural resources internal to the system & restricts the use of external ones.
- Think about feeding the animals with the food produced on the farm itself.
- The production is strictly limited when it comes to use of chemically synthesized inputs.
Think about limiting the chemically produced pesticides & herbicides, which yes, often kill pests & weeds BUT also then enter the soil and erode it faster. These chemical inputs also enter the plant itself & when consumed by people they build up in our bodies. Organic production focuses instead on the finding ways for protection which do not compromise on the production’s quality, environmental or consumer’s health
Creative approach to creating value
In a nutshell, producing organic means looking at ways to leverage the local natural resources, look for ways to sustain their integrity and focus on producing high quality food. It is about long-term commitment, knowledge, and creativity. And these principles, once adopted, can inspire a whole new way of approaching our lifestyle as consumers, citizens, and in all other roles in our lives.