Why we need to Support Farmers who incorporate Organics into their business.
In recent time The word ‘organic’ has become one of those buzz-words that we hear everywhere, but is the organic revolution a fad or is it the future of farming in Ireland?
What is Organic Farming?
Most Organic farmers will tell you that there is lots of muck and very little money in the business of farming organically. However, most would not go back to farming conventionally. When questioned about their reason for continuing, they will talk about various things. Some mention climate change, others food security, and many talk about living in balance with nature, but the one thing that most of them have in common is that innate understanding that an organic lifestyle not only brings positive effects to your health, but also to the planet.
Traditional farming was grounded in an organic philosophy, modern Organic Farmers are returning to that philosophy while among the buying public there is a slowly growing understanding that we need to remove all unnecessary chemicals from the food we eat.
Why should you support organic producers? Here are five very obvious reasons.
1. Protect current and future generations
There is enough scientific proof available now to confidently say that chemical residues in food have led to a plethora of physical and mental health issues in consumers and sadly, this is becoming more evident in our children.
Several studies have found “associations” between pollution or chemical exposure and autism. In other words, children exposed to higher levels of some pollutants or chemicals before and/or after birth were more likely to develop autism.
Organic farming uses natural methods for keeping weeds and pests down. In short, no synthetic herbicides or pesticides are used. When you buy organic, you avoid the associated risks that come with imbibing the residues of pesticides and herbicides used (And often over-used in conventional agriculture.)
Switching a large portion of your families diet to organic or naturally grown produce is perhaps the only way to limit damaging the health of current and future generations.
2. Protect our environment
You may not know this, but Broad spectrum insecticides and herbicides don’t just kill the targeted plant or insect! In many cases, they kill all plant and insect life, destroying the flora and fauna that supports predators and ensures balance between pests and beneficial bugs and plants.
Unlike conventional farming practices of KILL EVERYTHING, Organic farmers rely on the fact that for every pest there is a natural predator, that when greenfly swarm, ladybird, who pry on greenfly are only a step behind. Put simply, organic systems work hand in hand with nature.
Visit any organic farm and the first thing you will notice is the amount of bird and insect activity. What we understand innately is backed up by science. Research has proven that land farmed organically supports as much as 35 percent more animal, insect, bird and plant life than conventionally farmed land, proving beyond doubt that when chemical herbicides and insecticides are removed from a growing system, plant and insect life returns and in a short time, a balance is established.
Conventional Farming has been detrimental to our groundwater supply. Chemicals used leach into the soil and find their way to our springs and rivers, effectively making them toxic. There has been enough news coverage about the water down stream from large farms being visibly and invisibly affected by chemicals runoff.
Supporting organic farmers and organic products is a simple way to make changes that directly reverse the damage being done to our shared waterways.
3. Heath benefit of Organic Produce; Follow the science.
According to the World Health Organization, between 20,000 and 40,000 people die every year due to pesticide poisoning.
Organic produce is free of pesticides. Furthermore, the British Journal of Nutrition reported in 2014 that organic ingredients have substantially higher concentrations of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds when compared to products produced conventionally with the use of chemicals.
Consumption of chemical compounds found in conventionally produced food linked to a variety of issues that effect both physical and mental health.
4. Buying organic or naturally produced products supports farmers who have a vested interest in change.
The sad fact is that the percentage of organic farms vs. Conventional farming is extremely unbalanced in Ireland. In 2019 only 2% of farmers were organic, however there is a far larger percentage of farmers who are incorporating some organic practices into their business and this needs to be encouraged. The more consumers support these farmers and their production, the more other farmers will pay attention and that is how change will come about.
By purchasing organic or naturally produced products, we can turn what is currenty a murmur into a roar, because at the end of the day, farmers will produce what the consumer demands.
5. Avoid the rapid incursion of GMO products
A GMO is a ‘Genetically Modified Organism’. In short, GMO ingredients and products are created in a laboratory using an unnatural composition of genes to create new characteristics. (Sort of like Frankenstein, isn’t it).
Twenty years ago, genetically modified plants and animals were not part of our food chain, now, globally, as much and 30 percent of all crops planted are GMOs. Frighteningly, we are a longways from fully understand how these GMO will affect consumers, and we are even further away from understanding what damage GMOs might do if genetically engineered plants spread into our natural native plants.
Organic Farmers do not plant GMO crops.