Organic is the latest trend and for good reason.
But there are differences between Certified Organic, Organic and Natural that you should definitely know in order to be better educated.
There is a lot of misunderstanding around the concept but the idea of organic is really quite simple, just like everything Mother Nature related.
1. There really is a difference …
Certified Organic in Australia refers to products that are Organic and have been declared as such by an appropriate government/independent body. Acquiring Organic Certification is not a small feat; it takes loads of time, lots of documentation and heaps of finance.
Organic is probably exactly the same in terms of quality and processing as Certified Organic without the official badge of honour. What stops some people from purchasing organic however is that there’s no official proof. Basically organic products are based on trusting the manufacture within reason even though there’s no official certification.
Organic/Natural Based is often referred to as Organic by Default. An organic based product is the way Nature intended. It’s like growing your own tomatoes in your backyard and then selling them at your kids’ lemonade stand. They were grown exactly the way the environment wanted them grown, the naturally perfect way and you don’t have to have any documentation stating so because Mother Nature didn’t pass one along.
2. Is Organics nothing more than a fad for my much richer neighbour?
The fact is that there is no comprehensive proof that organic is actually better for you.
It makes sense to use what Earth has created for us seeing as we’re just one of her many creations. It’s interesting how every continent has managed to come up with something useful naturally for its inhabitants. India has Neem (The Tree of the 21st Century as declared by the United Nations), Australia has Tea Tree Oil, the United States has Echinacea while Europe has Geranium. Nature’s made it so there’s something for everyone.
What this signals to Organic enthusiasts is that the environment knows best. There’s a reason why certain plants and herbs are native to the areas that they are.
3. Why are Organic Products so much more expensive?
As you can imagine, it is difficult to ensure that your field of produce is completely, 100% natural. This is because mostly, fields are often clumped together and not all fields in an area are proclaiming to be organic. Which means that pesticides used on one field can very understandably (due to weather conditions such as wind changes and rain) land up on a “Certified Organic” field.
Certified Organic farmers are often extremely stressed – check out this news article. It is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult for growers of natural produce to fulfil the requirements of organic certification which is proving to be a massive burden on farmers who (for the most part) are trying in earnest to do the right thing.
Organic produce is fast gaining popularity but the headaches surrounding the promotion and growth around it makes certified organic farming a labour of love. Organic farmers really do believe in the concept of working with Mother Nature rather than against it. They believe in allowing the Earth to take care of its produce the way it was always intended, with natural resistances to pests and allowing foods to grow when they’re supposed to.
For these reasons, Organic farmers have to pass a little bit of the expense of growing their produce onto the consumer.
4. Do I really need Organics?
Well, do you really need those new pair of Louis Vuitton shoes or that Versace suit you’ve had your eye on? Chances are no. But that doesn’t change you wanting them, right?
It’s the same for Organic foods, except instead of evolving from our slightly (dare I say) vain place, the need for organic foods is probably coming from our gut and taste buds.
Your body wants organic and naturally made and grown produce and though there is no official proof that you need it, I would personally rather rely on my internal organs knowing best than what some scientist (possibly financed or aligned to some large multinational) is preaching.
5. Seasonal Foods are better for you?
Truly Organic Foods are seasonal by their very definition. Because they’re grown the way nature intends, they grow when they’re supposed to which often means that your body is getting the nutrients it’s meant to when it needs them the most.
They also have less of an impact on the environment. Not only do consuming seasonal fruits ensure that local farmers have more of a chance when battling against large multinationals and cheaper prices from overseas, it also guarantees that the produce you consume is likely to be fresher and therefore healthier.
Organic produce that is also locally produced also helps with keeping money in your community for better resources and an improved local economy.
To wrap this all up … Are you sold on Organics or not?
After working in an Organically geared organisation, I can’t tell you to go out and swap all your non-organic products with organic but I would strongly urge you to try the concept out after educating yourself.
So the only question that remains is, are you in or out? Let us know in the Comments section.