What’s all the fuss about organics? Is it just a fad or a way to get the public to part with even more of their hard earned cash? And surely if I grow something in my back yard and don’t smother it in harmful pesticides it’s organic? Well on further investigation, it seems it’s a little more complicated than that…
In a nutshell, organic farming produces goods that work in harmony with nature and not against it. The main aim is to protect soil health and eradicate the use of harmful chemicals and to rather use what nature gave us. Organic products are also completely free of genetically modified organisms.
This of course means that organic farmers are at the mercy of Mother Nature; weather problems and pest infestations. But the health benefits of organic farming are remarkable with produce containing higher vitamin content, greater flavour and are free of chemical residues, growth stimulants and hormones – which in normal farming can produce health problems like increased risk of cancer, reproductive problems and neurological damage.
How can you be sure it’s organic? Certified Organic means the produce and farming process has been inspected (usually over 3 years) by an independent specialist certification agency. During this process, the farmer or producer may communicate that their products are ‘organic in conversion’. Look for an Organic Certification or an Organic Conversion classification from Eco Cert, SGS, Afrisco and The Soil Association.
You can also look at organic products as a small step towards a brighter future for our children, without pesticides, noxious gases and unsustainable practices. There is an online Organic Directory where farmers, shops, delis and eateries are listed, then there’s Michelle Matthew’s Whole Food Almanac for the ultimate guide to shopping for natural, healthy, honest food in and around Cape Town.
What is your opinion on organic produce?