The word organic refers to the way farmers produce fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat. Organic farming, unlike conventional farming, is designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. According to the North Florida Research and Education Center, the U.S. market for organic products has been increasing by 20 percent each year for the past 10 years. The growth is expected to continue, driven by a health-conscious population and a general sense of environmental responsibility. Organic foods account for only 1 percent of national food sales, which converts to 4 billion dollars annually. Today, the world we live in is changing rapidly; more people are concerned about global warming, pollution, health and eating natural foods. Many effects can influence one's decision to buy organic foods: nutrition, environment and cost.
Growing vegetables and fruits in healthy soil result in products that offer healthier nutrients. These foods may have more Vitamin C, iron and magnesium. According to a report, jointly produced by The Organic Center , The University of Florida Department of Horticulture ,and Washington State University evidence is provided that organic foods contain 25 percent higher concentration of 11 nutrients than their conventional counterparts. Organic foods meet the same quality and safety standards as conventional ones; however, they do not last as long because they are not treated with waxes or preservatives. Also, you should never expect a perfect shaped or colored organic fruit. Some people say that they can taste the difference between conventional and unconventional foods. In particular the fruits have more taste; they are sweeter, and have no strange preservative taste when eaten with the skin.
When it comes to the topic of environment, most of us will readily agree that the important issue is the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Unlike conventional farming, organic producers use animal manure and other natural materials to help improve soil fertility. As a result, it helps protect the water supplies underground. Also, U.S. organic standards do not allow the use of genetically engineered products and growth hormones in organic farming. This gives a choice to consumers like me who wish to avoid antibiotics and growth hormones in their foods. Organic agriculture protects our planet by reducing the overall exposure to toxic chemicals that cause diseases like cancer and asthma.
Unfortunately, most organic foods still cost more than conventional ones. Higher prices are due to more expensive farming practices, tighter government regulations and lower yields because of the small size of farms. The demand for organic foods changed the market drastically in the last few years; the supply of these products has increased. I believe that consumers also support free trade by purchasing these products. Small, local farms are supported when people shop at farmer's markets all over the country for fresh and organic produce.
In conclusion, the organic food movement started by the concerned individuals, who think it is important to leave a healthy world to the next generation, uses sustainable practices. All of the causes that created this movement like being green, healthy, and trendy, result in the society working in favor of nature, support fair trade and small farms, and protect our planet. After all most of us would like to leave an ecologically diverse world for the future; I think eating organic foods is a step closer to that goal.