The Organic Lifestyle
Should Organic Vegetable Gardening Be A Part Of Your Life?
Everybody – young and old – should eat vegetables every day.
Of course, buying vegetables in the store can get costly, especially if you’re buying organic. If money is an issue, you always have the option of creating your organic vegetable garden. It can be a fun project that you and the rest of your family can do together.
Increasingly, people are opting for starting their organic vegetable garden, as they question the safety of chemical use to produce foods. Chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers do help to keep the bugs away and make the food get bigger, grow faster but it can these chemicals harm your health.
Even if the research evidence is not conclusive, Organic or Not?
Still, as part of a 6th generation farming family. We know our ancestors didn’t have these things to help them grow their vegetables. All they had was irrigation and sunlight to ensure their vegetables grew. And, it’s this concept that’s making its way around once more. All you need to do your organic vegetable gardening is three things:
The National Organic Program Clarifies What Is and Is Not Considered Organic
According to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), organic agriculture uses best evidence-based research practices to ensure the environment is protected from synthetic pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified foods.
This NOP program provides guidelines for ranchers and farmers growing crops, raising livestock and what seeds and foods can be grown. The guidelines ensure the product is protected from beginning to end, and they also addressed other concerns – water and soil quality, food additives, livestock practices and pest control.
The majority of national have guidelines to grow foods organically. What’s critical is how these guidelines are enforced. It is buyer beware, and so you much choose your food carefully or grow your own. And, you can do this indoors, in containers on a balcony, in a vertical garden and an allotment or your own yard, both front and back.
Is Organic Food Really Free Of Pesticides?
Defining what is and is not organic is not that difficult. However, the most significant misconception that people have about organic food is that they are free of pesticides. That’s not entirely accurate.
The truth is these foods are not treated with “synthetic” pesticides. If they are to be considered organic, they must not be sprayed with or come into contact with synthetic pesticides.
Farmers are, however, allowed to use organic pesticides and fertilizers that come from organic materials or plant life. It’s thought these foods are not as toxic as synthetic pesticides.
What Are The Organic Farming Requirements?
• Preserve resources that lead to biodiversity
• Improve animal health
• Offer animals access to outdoors, ensuring animals can roam freely
• Use of authorized products
• Must undergo yearly inspections
• Must not use any this that is genetically modified.
• Must keep non-organic and organic foods separate
• Don’t use any kind of irradiation to kill pests
• Use compost or manure rather than synthetic fertilizers
Any organically-grown food must adhere to those stringent rules as set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture. To ascertain their certification and keep it, farmers must participate in scheduled inspections and meet an array of criteria.
There is something else you need to consider – food that has a minimum of 95 percent organic ingredients and where the farm passed an inspection by a government expert attains its USDA Organic Label.
Before the NOP (National Organic Program) began, there were no rules in place governing what is and is not organic. Thus, consumers didn’t know how their food was grown, which was something USDA wanted to change.
It was in 2001 that the USDA organic labeling program began. Any product – no matter what it is – could get this stamp of approval so long as the products were indeed organic or had organic ingredients in them. In 2017, there were more than 31,500 certified organic commercial farmers in the nation and more than 100 countries. This is one of the fastest growing industries in the world – worth $44 billion today.
4 Commonly Asked Questions People Have About The Word “Organic”
Organic foods have been long promoted as the best food to purchase when buying groceries. However, the awareness of how good it is has been slow in reaching consumers. Several years back, when a person bought organic, they were thought to be organic. Still, today, many people cannot say precisely why they go organic other than the produce isn’t sprayed with chemicals. They don’t understand what it means by going organic.
It’s important that you understand what organic means and the reasons to instill more awareness in consumers about this “kind” of food. With many people seeing organic as the “next big thing,” a better understanding of what organic is would show those disbelievers that it’s not all hype. It would also help them make better food choices when shopping for their groceries next.
How Does A Person Know What Is and Is Not Organic?
If you want to know if a product is organic or not, you need to look at the label on the box or produce. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has some strict rules as to what is and is not considered organic.
For the label to be placed on produce, it must be grown by USDA standards. Any person selling a product considered not organic but claimed as such on a label could be fined up to $11,000 for the misrepresentation.
What Does Organic Mean?
The meaning of organic is simply this – produce grown without the help of any synthetic or chemical pesticides, fertilizers, sewage sludge or anything of the like.
For animal products, they could not have been given hormones, antibiotics or were given organic products only to eat (no animal by-products). Animals also need access to outdoors whether or not they use it – and it’s one-way animal manufacturers can still get the organic label.
How Much Is Organic Considered Organic?
Many people wonder how many organic needs to be in a product to be considered organic. With foods with a lot of ingredients in them, this could be iffy. Foods with the USDA organic seal must have at least 95 percent organic ingredients. Products with a certifying agent but no USDA seal must have an organic content of 70 percent and must state the following, “made with organic ingredients.”
How Is The Environment Helped?
When you grow organic food, it means you’re not using any dangerous pesticides or fertilizers that could pollute the environment. You also conserve soil, water, and air and ensure that more carbon dioxide is recycled without letting any toxic gases get back into the atmosphere.
Can You Really Trust Labels Claiming To Be Organic?
It wasn’t that long ago that eating organic foods and using organic products was considered a fad – a passing craze. Organic products ranged from paper toilet paper to vegetables, and when you purchased organic products, it meant you were helping the environment. And, it wasn’t long before the cosmetic industry caught wind of the “craze” and created their own line of organic cosmetics.
Once people realized the benefits to the organic industry, it seems the desire for anything organic – from food to makeup – was born.
However, before a company could get this label, demonstration of compliance with the USDA is necessary.
In April 2005, four years after the introduction of the organic label, the USDA removed labels from many products including personal care and cosmetic items. They were deemed no longer organic according to the standards the USDA had laid out. Unfortunately, not all countries police the use of organic as they should for consumer health and safety.
How To Know If Any Product Is Really Organic?
Even though the organic craze has waned down some since its inception, there are still a plethora of websites that claim to offer organic products – some of them saying their products are 100 percent organic.
The reality is that there is no way to determine if products such as skincare are organic. Some of these products may have just one or two ingredients considered organic, and the manufacturers feel this is enough to claim their product organic.
Still, many large and small companies make genuine organic products. People who have sensitive skin or other special skin conditions use labels to help them find organic skin care products that their skin won’t react to.
Of course, finding them can be a bit tedious and tiresome, but real organic skin care product consumers will take the time to find the organic product on the shelf. They will look at ingredient listings to determine if the product is organic or claiming to be organic.
A person interested in organic products will do their homework and look hard at each product available. It’s not just the USDA that creates labels for organic products; consumers create their own too.