The definition of organic food is very simple. They are those foods that have been obtained, distributed, and marketed through processes that respect the environment.
To distinguish an organic food from one that is not, the key is the respect that has been maintained in the production, distribution, and marketing of this food. It is what the definition of organic food “environmentally friendly processes” as, for example, agricultural methods used in the cultivation phase, fertilizer, care, harvesting and storage of products of the earth, fertilizers, and pesticides that are applied to the soil or crops or feed and other foods that are offered to farm animals or farm animals from which we get meat, fish, eggs or cheese.
Also included in this large drawer of environmentally friendly processes are the means of transport that we choose to get the organic food from the source to the final consumer.
In short, the increase in its consumption is closely linked to the growing concern in society to conserve the environment, feed to take care of health, and promote rural development in a sustainable manner.
Veamos algunos detalles sobre cada uno de estos procesos respetuosos que, no olvidemos, son la clave de los alimentos ecológicos.
Recordar y aplicar las prácticas agrícolas antiguas aprovechando los recursos del siglo XXI es la clave para conseguir estos alimentos ecológicos verdaderos que necesita tanto el planeta, como el ser humano presente y futuro.
Un buen ejemplo de cultivo ecológico es la permacultura, un sistema regenerativo de agricultura que tiene como base el ecosistema local de cada lugar. También se conoce como agricultura permanente, basándose en el diseño y creación de ecosistemas humanos sostenibles.
La idea principal es que el cultivo propio basado en la permacultura se cuida y se matiza. Plantando estratégicamente las diferentes especies se consigue que se proteja entre ellas, evitando así el uso de productos químicos para obtener productos 100% ecológicos. Además, los abonos utilizados en este tipo de plantaciones suelen ser fertilizantes que también son 100% naturales. Totalmente, el concepto de permacultura es muy amplio y tiene que ver con valores muy diversos como el ecologismo, la diversidad y, muy especialmente, la sostenibilidad.
The agricultural methods used to produce organic vegetables, legumes, fruits, and vegetables must respect the natural cycle of nature, i.e., we cannot grow oranges in summer and grapes in April.
Remembering and applying ancient agricultural practices while taking advantage of the resources of the XXI century is the key to getting the real organic food that both the planet and the human being, present, and future, need.
A good example of organic farming is permaculture, a regenerative system of agriculture based on the local ecosystem of each place. It is also known as permanent agriculture, based on the design and creation of sustainable human ecosystems.
The main idea is that the garden itself based on permaculture takes care of itself. By strategically planting the different species we get them to protect each other, thus avoiding the use of chemicals, to obtain 100% organic products. In addition, the compounds used in this type of plantation are usually fertilizers that are also 100% natural. The concept of permaculture is very broad and has to do with very diverse values such as environmentalism, diversity, and, especially, sustainability.
Fertilizers and pesticides
The products used to enrich the soil for organic food crops or to prevent pests and diseases must be free of chemical components. This does not mean that the organic farmer plants the seeds and expects nature to do its job by tilling the crop itself with snails, worms, whiteflies, etc.
The organic farmer has to take care of the soil that will feed the fruits, vegetables, and greens that will later be marketed with the corresponding label. How does he have to do it? In various ways, but above all by substituting natural products for chemical products and also by using the plant species themselves to combat natural pests.
Using natural substances that prevent pests and enrich the soil. We all know the famous natural compounds but there are also natural and ecological pesticides that are free of chemical substances such as, for example, nettle or ginger tea, onion infusion…
Alternating crops of species that help each other to grow strong and healthy. For example, did you know that garlic is a great natural animal and pest repellent? If you plant garlic next to your tomato, strawberry or carrot plants you will protect these delicious foods from flies, slugs or snails. Another good example is fresh mint. By planting mint bordering your organic garden crops you will be placing a natural barrier against ants and voles.
Main benefits of opting for organic foods
Betting on organic food has multiple benefits for both the end consumer and the planet. What are these benefits?
Main benefits of organic food FOR THE CONSUMER
The elimination of pesticides in the cultivation of organic vegetables reduces the intake of organophosphates. Organophosphates are compounds present in many insecticides and pesticides used in extensive agriculture and that according to some experts results in an increase of intoxications and diseases of the digestive, respiratory and nervous system.
Most organic foods have important antioxidant properties.
An important problem that affects not only our children is the growing resistance of the human organism to antibiotics. Some voices point out that the consumption of meat from animals raised and fattened with hormones and antibiotics has a lot to do with this resistance to drugs that, let’s not forget, have to be taken in moderation to remain useful. Therefore, consuming organic food will free us from ingesting these antibiotics that “allegedly” ingest the animals that we then eat.
Another advantage of opting for organic food is the fact that it strengthens the local economy. Traditional farming communities have found in the boom of organic products that source of income they missed so much.
Not all the benefits of organic food are focused on human health, also have a direct impact on one of the most important senses of our species, taste. It is often said that organic foods, fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc., that we eat are much richer and tastier than products full of preservatives and dyes that have traveled thousands of miles to reach our pantry. However, we leave this observation to the individual taste of each person.