Organic Vs. Conventional Farming: The Power of Organic, Plant-based Ingredients by Sara Saidy
The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products. There's no question that organic farming protects the environment in ways that conventional farming does not. Here’s a quick comparison:
- Enhances soil and water quality.
- Reduces pollution.
- Provides safe, healthy livestock habitats.
- Enables natural livestock behavior.
- Promotes a self-sustaining cycle of resources on a farm.
Some of the organic crop farming materials and practices include:
- Plant waste left on fields (green manure), livestock manure or compost to improve soil quality.
- Plant rotation to preserve soil quality and to interrupt cycles of pests or disease.
- Cover crops that prevent erosion when parcels of land are not in use and to plow into soil for improving soil quality.
- Mulch to control weeds.
- Predatory insects or insect traps to control pests.
- Certain natural pesticides and a few synthetic pesticides approved for organic farming, used rarely and only as a last resort in coordination with a USDA organic certifying agent.
- Uses synthetic fertilizers (man made inorganic compounds) such as ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphate and potassium sulfate. These inorganic compounds are generally derived from byproducts of petroleum and they are used to add nutrients to the soil. The problem is that these toxic chemicals will eventually make their way into the plants.
- Grows a single crop year after year which depletes the soil of micronutrients. Once these micronutrients are lost, soil loses its ability to hold water. This causes topsoil runoff, flooding and other serious problems. As a result, up to 80 percent of the earth’s arable land is now degraded. As soil nutrients are lost, conventional farmers must use more chemical fertilizers in order to maintain their crops.
- Uses sewage sludge as fertilizer.
- Uses synthetic pesticides for pest control. Again these toxic chemicals can make their way into the plants and eventually into our bodies.
- Irradiation to preserve food or to eliminate disease or pests.
- Genetic engineering, used to improve disease or pest resistance or to improve crop yields. GMOs have been known to contribute to food allergies, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems and many other health problems.
Gross! If you are not convinced, read on but before we go on, let’s address the "natural" issue because this is where the waters become muddy.
No, "natural" and "organic" are not the same! In general, the word "natural" on a label means that it has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It does not refer to the methods or materials used to produce the ingredients. Using organic ingredients means that you’ll be avoiding the following:
- Cadmium is a toxic chemical naturally found in soils and absorbed by plants. Studies have shown significantly lower cadmium levels in organic grains potentially due to the ban on synthetic fertilizers in organic farming.
- Pesticide residue which can contain a number of harmful chemicals.
- Arsenic is another highly toxic chemical found in soil that can cause an array of health issues including cancer.
By using products that have pure and organic ingredients, we avoid exposure to harmful chemicals and toxic metal but more importantly, we are feeding our skin as nature intended. Mother Earth has everything that we need in the natural form. Products that are close to nature (plant-based and organic) are absorbed and tolerated by our skin much easier than the products that contain harsh chemicals.
Our skin is our biggest organ. What we put on our skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream so it’s just as important as what we eat. By choosing USDA Certified Organic products we are being KIND to ourselves, KIND to animals and KIND to Mother Earth.
Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community. Inspire ... and be inspired.
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.