“Plan it Well…Plant it Well…Planet Well”
Organic gardening is not for the faint of spirit…
In fact, organic gardening requires a lot of work that is not necessarily going to be needed in a non-organic garden. We think it is important for the planet and for people.
(thanks to our friends at SustainableEnterprises.com for this information)
Here is the short list of the benefits of organic food.
- No pesticide, herbicide, fungicide residues on food
- Less chlorine chemistry into our environment.
- No synthetic fertilizer residuals built into plants
- No genetically engineered organisms or varieties.
- Intense, realistic flavors.
- Higher vitamin content
- Higher mineral content and greater mineral variety.
Social and Environmental Benefits of Organic Food Production
Organic farmers have a strong commitment to their land. If they don’t abuse the land, it will provide for them and their families for many years to come. They are far less likely to use the kind of agricultural processes which result in:
- loss of topsoil
- toxic runoff and resulting water pollution
- soil contamination and poisoning
- death of insects, birds, critters and beneficial soil organisms
Organic farmers typically spend a lot of time and effort improving their land. They make compost. They are much more likely to spend and invest their profits in the surrounding community than are corporate-owned mega-farms and industrial meat-producing facilities. Organic farms tend to require more labor than corporate mechano-farms. Thus, they could be an ideal generator of low-impact, but rewarding, jobs for hard-to-place categories of workers, including
- Chemically injured
- At-risk youth
- Welfare families
- Mentally challenged non-violent
- Rehabbing substance abusers
In some areas, organic farms provide a way for travelers to experience a low-cost and fulfilling guest experience. A one-or-two month stay on an organic farm is appealing to many individuals wishing a time-out from our stressed out, hi-tech world.
Individual Benefits of Organic Food
We maintain that organic foods are higher in vitamins and minerals than conventionally produced foods, because the soil has a greater variety of living organisms and trace minerals. There is some anecdotal evidence to support this theory. Here is an introduction to that subject.
Conventional farmers add mostly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (the old N-P-K) to the soil, perhaps a little calcium or sulfur if needed. They rarely, if ever, add expensive secondary, tertiary or trace soil elements. Once a conventional farmer uses up the minerals endemic in his soil, which takes only a few crop rotations, the food subsequently produced is low or devoid of these nutrients. Additionally, conventional farmers use chemicals which kill minute soil dwelling bacteria. Many of these bacteria enhance the plant’s ability to synthesize or absorb nutrients.
Organic farmers, on the other hand, use things like compost, rock dust, and kelp meal, which contain dozens of different trace minerals and soil builders. Organic farmers try to increase the number of beneficial soil organisms, rather than killing them.
One of the main individual benefits of eating organic is that there are no pesticide residues on your food. In 1995, U.S. farmers applied 566 million pounds of pesticides to food crops and growing fields. Although much of it runs off farms and into your drinking water, a fair portion of it finds its way to your table. A 1996 study by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation found detectable pesticide residues on 34 percent of more than 5,500 samples of fresh produce, and California has some of the toughest pesticide regulations in the Americas.
In a study release in 1999, Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, found much of the produce sold in this country “contains toxic pesticide levels high enough to be dangerous for young children.”
According to the Environmental Working Group, the 12 most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables are: (in order of toxicity)