Organic Agriculture A Future Trend For Better Health And Environment
“The birthright of all living things is health. This law is true for soil, plant, animal and man: the health of these four is one connected chain. Any weakness or defect in the health of any earlier link is passed onto the next and succeeding link, until it reaches the last, namely, the man.” Sir Albert Howard, 1945
What Is Organic Food? • Organic food is grown by organic agriculture in soil rich in organic matter called humus- the living part of the soil. • Humus contains billions of bacteria, fungi and other minute organisms that provide tremendous amount of minerals and other nutrients to the plants.
Organic agriculture • It is a sustainable farming system that produces healthy crops and livestock without damaging the environment. • It avoids the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and, relying instead on developing a healthy and fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.
Human Health • Difficult to assess the effect an organic diet has on a person’s health. • Small number of studies suggest the health effect of organic food. • On the contrary, abundant studies have shown negative effects of non-organic food and conventional farming.
Pesticide • Carcinogenic ( such as DDT that was banned in 1973 in the US). • Over 400 chemicals are being regularly used in conventional farming to kill weeds, insects and other pests that feed on crops. • Some crops are being sprayed up to 16 times with 36 different pesticides.
Organophosphates • The most dangerous pesticides. • The most widely used- account for about half of the pesticides used in the US. • Cheap cost and broad spectrum of uses. • 60 million pounds are applied annually. • 17 millions pounds –non-agricultural purposes.
Organophosphates- continues • Very poisonous and were used in the World War II as nerve agents. • Reduce the ability of cholinesterase to regulate a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
Symptoms Of Cholinesterase Depression • Headache Dizziness • Muscle twitches Nausea and weakness Stomach Pain • Shortness of breath Anxiety • Diarrhea Pinpoint pupils • Convulsion • Coma
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC) • Also known as “gender benders.” • They may affect genes in a way similar to estrogen. • Small dose can affect the sexual characteristics of animals.
Food Additives- Food Colorings • Food colorings cause a range of health problems including: • Allergic reaction • Headaches • Asthma • Growth retardation • Hyperactivity in children • Small risk of cancer and tumor is associated with Red No. 3.
Better Nutrition • Organic food is grown by organic farming that retains organic matter in the soil that provides the nutrients plants and crops need. • The conventional food lacks substantive nutrition. • Speedy growth with agrochemicals • Largely water filled
Comparison of Organic and Non-Organic Produce • Dry matter +26% Protein +12% • Potassium +13% Manganese +28% • Calcium +56% Nitrates +69% • Magnesium +49% Phosphorous +6% • Iron +290% • Copper +34% • Essential amino acids +35%
Reduce Heart Attacks • Salicylic acid is responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of aspirin and helps combat hardening of the arteries and bowel cancer. • Salicylic acid is produced naturally in plants as a defense against stress and disease. • Average level of salicylic acid in organic food is 117 nanograms per gram compare to 20 nanograms per gram in non-organic food.
The Environmental Impacts • Prevent climate change • Less CO2 is produced with organic food because of the use of organic fertilizer instead of commercial fertilizer. • Less CO2 with organic food because it uses less energy than conventional farming. • Development of soil as a major carbon sink.
Water And Air Pollution • Groundwater supplies about 51% of the drinking water in the US. • About 25% of groundwater is contaminated. • Less than 2% of pesticides applied to crop reach the target crops by aerial spraying.