Organic foods and products are becoming one of the fastest growing items in consumer shopping carts globally. What was once considered left-wing is now very mainstream, every day more and more people are switching to organic food, clothing, body care, household cleaners, supplements, pet food, and so forth.
What once was considered a fleeting trend is now proving to become a mainstream way of life that is here to stay.
But have you ever wondered exactly WHY so many people are going organic?
Let's start by taking a look at why our mainstream way of farming is no longer working for our health and the planet.
We Are No Longer Growing Food Like Nature Intended
Throughout history, mankind has made use of the right balance between growing the food that we need and allowing nature to reinforce the health of the land. The farmers of the past realised that to maintain a viable system that produced crops, they were required to follow a formula for success that allowed them to return to the land just as much as they took. This is not the case for industrial farmers of today. Today it is all about take, take, take.
Somewhere along the line, the concept of profit has overruled the common sense of nature, and the foods that are being produced today are lower in nutrients, damaging to our health and causing massive environmental damage.
Conversation with larger farming organisations on the topic of environmental damage, typically results in hearing only one thing: ‘denial’. While some may abide by the crop rotation rules in support of natural food production; that action is usually where it stops.
Big agriculture has ditched the natural way of growing crops, a natural system that allows the soil to rebuild its nutrients, and replaced it with with manure [filled with antibiotics + chemicals] and chemical fertilisers.
And the reasoning behind this? Well, profits come before health, sustainability and ethics.
To connect back to the wisdom of our earth and grow crops as nature intended is something most farmers are not interested in, as it would mean that the growing and harvesting process would need to be extended and therefore cut into their profits.
However, due to consumer demand, everyday there are more and more farmers joining the movement to produce what may be our only future for safe food.
Organic foods do not use chemicals, pesticides and manure
We Are Re-engineering Nature
Nature knows what it is doing and when we try to intervene and change the way nature does things, everything becomes unbalanced, causing adverse effects to our health and the planet.
To further increase crop yield and profit, big agriculture has introduced GMO crops [Genetically Modified Organism].
GMO’s, in their simplest terms, is the fusing of the DNA from multiple species to develop a desired crop result. The purpose was to create plant and food species that were resistant to many of the diseases and bug infestations so that a more resilient final product would offer an improved growth method for people around the world. On the surface GMO crops sound like a great thing, I mean how wonderful it would be to be able to grow food effortlessly, it may even help in the fight against world hunger.
And, they are 100% natural so they can't be bad for us right? Well this is where it all goes wrong. You see with GMO foods the cellular DNA of the plant is interfered with. What was once a cellular DNA that our bodies regnosied has now become some weird and wacky cellular DNA that confuses the heck out of our bodies. So to put it simply, our bodies don't know how to metabolise the cellular make-up of GMO foods and there are no studies to show how this will have an effect in the long-term.
Like anything that is unfamilar to the body, it is suggested by experts that GMO ingredients will cause inflammation in the body. And as most of us are now aware - inflammation is the breeding ground for all disease. If your body doesn't have inflammation disease can not be born.
There is growing concern that GMO foods are the cause of many allergies, once again this is not scientific proven - however in my opinion I can see some truth in this.
Whilst some countries have banned the growing of GMO crops, it doesn't mean that GMO's will be avoided, as they are present in most processed foods that come from the USA. GMO ingredients are now found in 75% of all processed foods manufactured in the USA, even in many products labeled or advertised as “natural.”
In addition the overwhelming majority of non-organic meat, dairy, and eggs are derived from animals reared on a steady diet of GMO animal feed.
Although surveys indicate that 90% of consumers want labels on GMO foods, government and industry adamantly refuse to respect consumers’ right to know.
To learn more about GMO foods read my blog post over at my personal blog [click here]
Organic farming does not allow GM seeds and requires seeds to be organically grown. Organic farmers will often save seeds from previous crops and use rare and heirloom seed varieties, preserving the biodiversity of our food.
Chemical Fertilisers Are Wreaking Havoc
Another major problem that standard farming has caused is the consistent use of pesticides. Products such as ‘Roundup’, by Monsanto, are used on an industrial scale and farmers refuse to accept the fact that the ingredients have been listed as ‘potential carcinogens’ by scientists and the World Health Organisation.
The overuse of these have caused a major imbalance in the water systems as they run off into lakes and streams and eventually the oceans. Over fertilization is now creating the development of algae blooms known as ‘red tide’ in many of our coastal areas. These blooms contain toxins as well as deplete the oxygen that kills fills and animals.
Organic crops have zero chemicals. Organic farming nurtures the soil using organic fertilisers such as compost and controls invasive species through a mixture of companion planting, crop rotation, use of cover crops, natural pest control, hand weeding and animal grazing.
We Are Drowning Ourselves + The Planet In Toxic Shit [literally]
Today, animal manure is a silent killer. The overuse of growth hormones and antibiotics currently used in animal agriculture are also present in the manure. When this chemical manure is tossed on to crops it eventually runs into and contaminates waterways; upsetting entire ecosystems, damaging soil quality and heavily contributing to wildlife and habit loss.
Companies that sell manure add heavy metals and nutrients to the manure, the idea behind this is to replenish the soil with some kind of nutrient. Many of these metals make their way into our food system such as copper, arsenic, zinc, cadmium and lead. Salts are also added to manure, this contributes to the reduction of soil quality and can cause erosion. Farmers argue that these elements are naturally needed to support plant growth, but they ignore the fact that the intense quantities that they are applying actually contributes to the reduction of the fertility of the soil and causes damage that is difficult to turn back.
Most organic farms use compost as opposed to manure, however if they do use manure it must come from an organic farm which is free from all the chemicals and GMO's
Toxic + Unsustainable Farming Practices
Another facet of environmental dangers from the factory, industrial and larger farming areas is the fact that they typically do not participate in the use of any equipment that is eco-friendly. Instead they use machinery that emits harmful particles and gases that are known to contribute to health issues and global warming.
Hydrogen sulfide and methane are the two most over produced gases. Mismanagement of manure practices and irresponsible feeding allows excess methane gas to be produced. The additional overuse and lack of responsible use of water, places another burden on the environment, as they deplete the water before it has the natural ability to replenish.
Industrialised farming relies on chemical inputs and a highly mechanised approach, whereas organics is about farming holistically, recognising that we are part of a broader ecosystem
Mal-nourished Soil = Nutrient Poor Crop
Scientists first extracted nitrogen from the atmosphere and created synthetic fertilizer in 1909; farming hasn’t been the same since. Fertilizer use was followed by the development of insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides, along with new plant varieties bred for higher yields — and often genetically engineered to resist the herbicides.
Many farmers quickly embraced these chemicals, which allowed them to produce greater crop yields with reduced labor. Farms grew larger and became less diversified; and farming was industrialized. The following practices oversimplify an inherently complex natural system, disrupting and weakening the soil as a result.
The use of chemical fertilizers disrupts the natural relationship between plants and microorganisms. Rather than receiving nutrients from the soil and its microbes, plants are force-fed synthetic compounds — often derived from petroleum — that are designed to maximize plant growth and yield. Think of this as similar to feeding a human being a towering pile of pizzas: The plants get more nutrients than they need in a year, and it hardly comes from the most nutritious food.
The nutritional value of many of the fruits and vegetables we eat today, for instance, is 5 to 40 percent lower than that of the same produce grown 50 to 70 years ago, according to Donald R. Davis, PhD, FACN, of the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas in Austin.
In a 2004 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Davis reviewed U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits. He found “apparent, statistically reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C across the group of foods over those 49 years.
Davis built on this research with a 2009 meta-analysis of global studies that noted similar nutritional declines in conventionally grown produce. His conclusion: Modern farming’s reliance on synthetic fertilizers and plant cultivars bred for high yields has led to “trade-offs between yield and nutrient concentrations.”
The good news is that other research suggests that organic farming can help plants retain their nutrition.
Organic foods are nutritionally dense compared to foods produced with toxic chemicals, chemical fertilizers, and GMO seeds. Studies show that organic foods contain more vitamins, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, and important trace minerals
Why Choose Organic Skincare?
After reading what goes on in mainstream agriculture it is easy to understand how organic is better for both our health and planet. It makes sense that we should be eating organic to avoid ingesting all those chemicals.
However this then brings me to the question of Why Should We Choose Organic Skin Care?
When it comes to applying organic ingredients on your skin, unlike our food, raw ingredients used in beauty products have been gently processed [pressed, distilled and so forth] so you don’t really have to worry about ingesting the pesticides that were sprayed on the crop. So many health conscious people don't really prioritise organic beauty products for that reason.
For me personally, choosing organic beauty products is about caring about and connecting with something greater than myself. Its about giving back to the world around me.
The skin and our body in general responds to vibrant, natural, healthy ingredients, absorbing not just their nutrients but their life force too. Everything we put on our skin has an energy value that gets absorbed into our bodies. So if we are putting on something that has a negative effect on the world around us it is going to leave us with negativity in the body, however if we choose more positive sources of energy it will create lightness and positivity in the body. Everything is ultimately an energy exchange – even the stuff you put on your skin.
Organic is a mindful process that thinks about more than itself, it considers an entire eco-system – it is for this reason I choose organic skincare where I can.
Organic Is Starting To Become Mainstream
Everyday there is more education released on the importance of choosing GMO free and organic, this is primarily thanks to the many not-for-profit natural health organizations across the globe who have been working tirelessly for many decades to bring this story to the forefront of the average consumer. The OCA (Organic Consumer Organization) started out as a grassroots non-profit organization and has grown to become a national leader in the crusade to educate the public, make a stand in their lobbying efforts in the government, and work with local farming communities to encourage the production of organically grown foods as well as comply with actions that support eco-friendly farming. Their efforts have assisted in bringing awareness to consumers, while encouraging phasing-out of the most dangerous farming practices.
In the last number of years, the outcry and demand from the general public for organically grown and sustainably/responsibly produced foods has been so great that it is catapulted the success of the organic industry into new heights. What began as the local farmer supplying organic produce at the farmer’s market has grown to a point where there are now grocery store chains that specialize in organic foods and products that support ecologically minded production. Even the largest retail grocery stores are now carrying organic products.
According to OCA, “Forty percent of Americans said organic food will be a bigger part of their diet within one year and 63 percent buy organic foods and beverages at least sometimes, according to a Roper survey released Monday.” “The trend for organics is growth, more and more people are choosing organic produce and food products and especially in the last ten years it’s been growing at healthy rates,” Miles McEvoy, organic program manager for the state of Washington. “In the last four years in Washington we’ve gone from 290 farmers to 520 because of the increased demand.”
Organic food production is not a trend, it is now a movement that is sweeping across the country. As consumers become more educated on the damages that industrial farming is creating to their food and the environment, the demand for organic and responsibly grown food is increasing. The cost barrier that once kept people from purchasing organic is slowly making a dynamic shift as people realize the ultimate price that they are paying for unhealthy and potentially toxic food as well as the damage to eco-systems.
The topic of ‘organic’ is now part of mainstream conversation as they realize that the only potential method to save both the environment and the health of themselves and their families is in raising their voices and forcing organic to become the norm, instead of the exception. It will take a continual push by the consumers to make the kind of farming philosophy changes that are needed, but they are the ultimate requirement to transition food production so that it is both safe and good for the environment. Organic, is indeed our future.