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Articles - Organic - Why Choose Organic?

Why Choose Organic?

Conventional intensive agriculture exposes the soil to erosion, creates a feast for pests and destroys habitats needed by predators that would control pests. Over the past 50 years it has come to rely increasingly on inputs of artificial fertilisers and pesticides to sustain yields.

It is digging itself into a hole.

Production of these chemicals requires energy in the form of non-renewable fossil fuels. Their use becomes self-defeating as the soil becomes impoverished and loses its ability to retain water and nutrients. Pests often develop resistance to pesticides.

Organic farming seeks to eliminate this dependency on chemicals. It uses systems to maintain soil fertility and marginalise pests which mimic those found in nature. These are some of the benefits.

Improved Soil Quality

Healthy soil is full of life. Organically farmed soils contain a greater quantity and diversity of beneficial microbes and small invertebrates such as worms. These increase the soils ability to retain water and nutrients.

Improved Water Quality

Pesticide and fertiliser residues do not leach out into ponds, water courses, rivers or groundwater. There are no algal or bacterial blooms depleting oxygen in rivers, allowing fish and large invertebrates to survive in larger numbers. Water companies also have less of a headache and face lower costs when it comes to treating water for human consumption.

A More Attractive & Interesting Landscape

Organically farmed landscapes host a greater quantity and diversity of wildlife. Mature trees and hedgerows are seen by the organic farmer as assets rather than obstacles.

Safer Food

There are no pesticide residues on organic food. These chemicals are designed to poison insects, fungi or weeds. Their implications for human health are uncertain but why take the risk?

More Nutritious & Tastier Food

Organically grown crops and organically raised animals take longer to reach maturity. This allows them to develop a firmer texture, richer flavour and incorporate higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals. The last of these observations is supported by scientific evidence.

Why Choose an Independent Organic Specialist?

Availability of organic produce in supermarkets has increased in recent years but there are still at least two major advantages in buying from small specialist businesses.

More Choice

At Forest Garden we sell more than 60 varieties of organic vegetables and more than 30 varieties of organic fruit during the course of the year. Other organic specialists will offer a similar range but, in spite of their enormous buying power none of the Big 4 supermarkets will offer more than a fraction of this choice in organic lines.

Basically, they are only interested in selling things which they can move quickly and easily; typically very popular basics like potatoes, carrots, apples and bananas.

Less Waste

Supermarkets are obsessed with the cosmetic appearance of the produce they sell and insist on pointless uniformity in colour, size and shape. They apply the same criteria to organic produce as to anything else.

Growers are forced to compost or feed to animals tonnes of perfectly fresh, edible produce simply because it is too small. large, slightly mis-shapen or carries blemishes that are unrelated to disease or decay.

Our concern is with substance, not appearance. The freshness and taste of the food are the only criteria that concern us.

Another supermarket trait is to sell organic lines in small, heavily packaged units, seemingly to prevent them from mixing with similar non-organic lines but probably also to make them seem reasonably priced (remember to compare prices on a weight for weight basis). This packaging is wasteful.

Independent retailers will only use packaging to protect very delicate items like lettuces and celery or to hold together small, fiddly varieties like cherries or peas. Then you can expect only a single, thin, plain polythene bag or a paper bag. Boxes used to deliver produce are recyclable and can be returned.

Author: Stephen Wearing

Creation date : 25/11/2007 @ 20:47
Last update : 27/07/2010 @ 11:15
Category : Articles - Organic
Page read 7525 times

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