In the 60’s and 70’s, Punjab was flourishing under the Green Revolution. While this catapulted India into a food exporting nation, it did immense damage to the traditional knowledge and practices that we pride ourselves on. In addition to the loss of knowledge, we are also experiencing the after effects of excessive agri-chemical usage. Today, we are making an attempt at returning to our roots and adopting a more sustainable and eco-friendly way of living.
While there are divided opinions about the use of organic food and products, this article makes an attempt at debunking some myths about organic foods and attempts at placing certain facts before you as a consumer. The pros and cons of the green revolutions are before us to assess; use of fertilisers, chemicals, high-yield seeds, pesticides has resulted in a dependency cycle that the farmer finds difficult to get out of. At a personal level, prolonged exposure and use of these chemicals is also known to cause innumerable health issues. It is these reasons that are forcing us to rethink our choices and turn towards a more sustained and wholistic living approach.
As a parent, it is our duty to ensure that we provide the best nourishment we can for our children. One of the ways we can achieve it is through an organic way of life. So what does one mean when we say “organic”?
Organic produce is one that is farmed by Organic Farming techniques that requires farms to refrain from using harmful synthetic pesticides, genetically modified seeds or organisms (GMOs), chemical fertilisers and ionising radiation. This way the poison doesn’t reach your food. Organic foods are also not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or synthetic food additives. Animals that produce mean, poultry, eggs and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.
Some of the reasons why we must shift to consuming organic foods are:
Organic food is healthier and tastes better.
Farmers in India extensively use 60+ pesticides that US, UK and many other countries have banned due to proven life threatening impact.
Children & foetuses are most susceptible to toxic effects of pesticides and therefore organic food is recommended for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.
Pesticides heightens risks of childhood leukaemia, brain cancer, and birth defects – Natural Resource Defence Council.
Sustainable ecosystem: ensuring we leave a safe, healthy world for the next generation.
One often shies away from using organic products thinking that the costs of these products will be much higher. So is that really true? We asked Aman Singal, Co-founder, All Things Organic to throw some light on this. He said, “Pricing of any commodity as we know is based on the market forces of demand and supply. To put it simply, organic food demand always outpaces supply – organic crops are seasonal i.e. the availability is not all year round, it’s in sync with nature which might sound like blasphemy to us city folks who expect for instance cauliflower, peas etc. to be available the entire year. In addition to this, the output of an organic farm is lower than a conventional one. Further adding fuel to the problem is the fact that 70% of our organic produce is exported at much better pricing. As a result, yes, organic food is currently costlier than conventional food by ~20-30% and in some cases even more. With increased focus on organic farming, especially by the government for instance Sikkim recently became a completely organic state i.e. with increased supply base, the prices are slated to get more aligned with that of conventional food. By direct sourcing from farmers we too are trying to make organics more affordable for our customers. We hope to get there overtime.”
Keen on knowing how much of a budgetary increase a shift to organic products would mean, we asked the team at All Things Organics just that. “As explained above, the monthly budget would again be augmented by a similar % as the one quoted for food products. For instance, for someone spending 10K a month on food the increase will be 2K which is a small price to pay for providing safe and nutritious food to the family. Also, good news is that for people who take a subscription with, AllThingsOrganic.co.in – we offer FLAT 20% discount practically making price equal to conventional.
"The intangible i.e. one’s own health and in turn the sustainability of the entire ecosystem is ofcourse priceless!.”