Agriculture is an essential part of human life, in both an economic and biological sense; we depend on agriculture as a resource for income and wealth but also as a means to nourish our bodies with energy to live.
It would make sense then to want such an essential resource to continue and expand its success whilst supplying us with healthy produce — as tasty and nourishing as it can be.
As it stands, in our commercial world today, we are fixated with over-producing output to increase profits, which in turn, can jeopardise quality for quantity. More output means farming more land, which means ruining more natural ecosystems that conventional farming has a tendency to turn into either desert or salty wasteland.
Alternatively, if we take the other approach of producing more output on less land, this results in the use of more fertilisers and pesticides and pumping food full of chemicals so they grow quicker, so they can be reaped quicker, to make way for more of the same unhealthy procedures.
Organic farming is the evolution of conventional farming practices. It is as though somebody has finally turned on the light and taken us back to basics whilst incorporating technological advances and learning from our past mistakes.
Organics is a positive foot forward in banishing our complacent routine of assuming we need to use chemicals and synthetic pesticides that can be toxic to people, animals, our environment and our earth. Organics is taking advantage of technology and utilising science while working with our natural environment — making a conscious effort to break out of old farming habits and revolutionising the way we have been doing things. It takes change; the effort of that change and the realisation that it is a change for the better.
The principles and practices behind organic farming are expressed by the
Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements’ (IFOAM):
- to produce food of high nutritional quality and in sufficient quantity
- to work with natural systems rather than seeking to dominate them
- to encourage and enhance natural biological systems
- to maintain and increase the long-term fertility of soils
- to use local and renewable resources where possible
- to work as much as possible within a closed system in regard to nutrient elements cycles
- to give livestock conditions of life that allow them to perform all aspects of their innate behaviour
- to maintain genetic diversity in plants and animals
- to allow agriculturists to work within a safe, pleasant and economically rewarding environment
- to ensure the wider social and ecological impact of the farming system