What is Organic Food

Organic food is different from conventional food as it is grown without using synthetic chemicals, such as human-made pesticides and fertilizers. It also does not contain genetically modified organisms, such as genetically modified seeds.
Conventional foods are grown generally with the use of synthetic pesticides and commercial fertilizers. Genetically engineered products have also been introduced in the conventional food industry. As a result of this, organic farming methods have come to the limelight these days.
Organic farming has a lot of potential benefits: the first and foremost being no exposure to food, which might be contaminated with pesticides or antibiotics. In the case of vegetarian food products, there is a lot of use of pesticides to make the crop safe from different pests and to get a maximum crop. In the case of meat production from animals, the animals are exposed to various antibiotics in farms to keep them safe from diseases and increase production. Various studies suggest that these pesticide residues reach the consumers of food grown by conventional farming methods. Some studies have described the harmful effects of these residues in human beings, especially in children. Antibiotic residues have also found to be reaching the consumers of conventional food and are thought to induce general antibiotic resistance in society.

In conventional farming, there is generally reckless and excessive use of synthetic and nitrogenous fertilizers to increase soil fertility and crop production. The toxic chemicals found in fertilizers can enter the food chain through vegetables and cereals. The chemicals can also flow into groundwater. This contaminated water, in turn, can be used for drinking purposes for human beings resulting in various problems. It has been noticed that the addition of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers is increasing globally. The excessive use of fertilizer causes increased nitrate contents in food such as vegetables. Consumption of such nitrate-containing foods can lead to various diseases such as thyroid conditions, diabetes, and cancer. Therefore organic foods present an extra advantage by not using these synthetic fertilizers during the farming process.

One example of such fertilizers is synthetic urea. Synthetic urea is a nitrogenous fertilizer extensively used in conventional agricultural farming. Its increased use has caused a surge in nitrate levels in the soil and also in the crop. This increase in nitrate levels has the potential to cause a lot of health-related problems to both animals and human beings.

On the other hand, organic foods are grown by using organic fertilizers such as organic urea e.g., cow manure. Using organic and natural sources is a fundamental pre-requisite of organic farming. However, excessive use of even organic urea is not recommended, as it is a nitrogenous fertilizer. Organic urea may also increase the nitrogenous content of the soil by long term use.

Studies have shown that organic foods also have better nutritional values to offer as compared to conventionally grown food, although the difference in quantitative value is minimal. Scientific evidence also suggests that organic food consumption may lower the chances of getting allergies. Data indicates that consumers of organic foods are also less likely to suffer from obesity.

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