Organic food is produced without synthetic chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers. It is not genetically modified (GM) or exposed to irradiation. It may contain naturally occurring pesticides such as pyrethrins, light oils, copper, sulphate and biological substances such as Bacillus thuringiensis.
Organic meat ensures the animal is not fed growth regulatory drugs, steroids, antibiotics or hormones although may be vaccinated to prevent diseases. The animal’s welfare is important to organic farmers and they ensure they look for sustainability. All animal produce such as eggs or milk must come from an animal that is free range and has not been caged.
To obtain an organic certification, growers and producers must have operated to the organic standards for a minimum of three years. There are many regulatory bodies that govern the organic food industry in Australia.
The organisations classified by the AQIS as organic certifiers are:
Biodynamic Research Institute (Demeter)
Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA)
National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA)
Organic Food Chain (OFC)
Organic Herb Growers of Australia (OHGA)
Organic Vignerons Association of Australia (OVAA)
Tasmanian Organic Producers (TOP).
Organic farmers actively conserve water and energy, maintain healthy soils, use renewable resources and use natural farming cycles. They rotate crops regularly to prevent soil erosion. Demand for organic produce is increasing at approximately 20-30% per year.
So why eat organic food?
The bottom line is by eating organic food; you are not ingesting synthetic chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified food, irradiation, growth regulatory drugs, steroids, antibiotics and hormones.
It makes perfect sense to buy organic!