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Going Organic - But Why Should We Consider It?
By Liz Barrington, Natural Body Healing

Everyone has heard about organic farming.  Yet, are we really helping the environment by going organic, or is it just another ploy by supermarkets or local farmers to charge more for their produce? 

In fact, organic farming is becoming increasingly necessary to each and every one of us, as the world around us becomes more ‘toxic’.  It’s important for our well-being as individuals and also for the health of our environment. 

Any imbalance in nature, as we are now discovering, can last for generations or it can even be permanent.  Going organic is in fact a long-term investment in the welfare of us all.  So what exactly is ‘organic farming’?

Organic farming is about creating a ‘natural balance’ and maintaining equilibrium by adopting environmentally-friendly ways of cultivating the land – working in harmony with ‘Mother Nature’, rather than working against her.  Organic farmers use techniques that mirror naturally-occurring systems which have been practised for hundreds of centuries without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides. 

Yet, organic farmers also rely on a modern, scientific understanding of ecology and soil science.  Examples of specific techniques adopted include the use of horse and sheep dung to develop rich, fertile soil; the growth of a mixture of crops in a single field or a garden plot to achieve a natural healthy balance in the soil and effective weed and pest control; and also the need for crop rotation to ensure the soil is ‘rested’ sufficiently and not depleted of essential nutrients.

‘Modern’ organic farming began in the late 1940’s as a result of the increased use of pesticides and synthetic fertilisers that were used following the First World War.  In fact, chemical pesticides were originally developed by the Germans, but for very different purposes - as ‘endocrine suppressors’.  Because of their ability to disrupt and destroy life, these chemicals were to be used as chemical weapons during war time.

Since then, there has been growing concern about the level of environmental damage caused by pesticides and other agrochemicals.  This damage can easily be shown in our diminishing wildlife, increasingly nutrient-deficient crops and higher levels of obesity and illness within our bodies. 

If man-made chemicals can cause so much damage to wildlife – what damage are these chemicals doing to us?  Humans have highly-sensitised cells, tissues and organs that rely upon the complex actions of vulnerable enzymes, hormones and other biochemical reactions every second of the day and night. 

In non-organic farming, as many as 450 chemicals can be routinely used.  Throughout their growth period, many crops are sprayed 20-30 times with both water and fat-soluble chemicals that subsequently enter our bodies and remain there for many months and even years, contributing to cellular malfunction and disease.  What’s more, chemicals also destroy the natural micro-organisms in the earth. These are essential for the plant to assimilate important minerals from the soil which give the plant its nutritive value.

Today, organic standards are extensive, covering a wide range of farming, growing and food manufacturing practices.  Across the world, different countries stipulate their own standards, which are overseen by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements). 

You perhaps already know that organic food does not necessarily mean completely ‘chemical-free’ produce.  A very limited number of ‘less harmful’ chemicals are allowed in organic production on a restricted basis.  Organic standards however, do not allow the use of artificial herbicides or fungicides.

It may seem that there is little we can do to change the damage that pesticides and agrochemicals are causing to our environment.  However, the truth is that the actions of all of us have both positive and negative impacts on the world in which we live.  If every individual reduces his or her negative impact, then collectively we can make a huge difference.  But, why should we care about our environment? 

  • We are what we eat: Our own health is connected to the quality of the food we eat and ultimately the health of the soil.  Impoverished soil cultivates nutrient-deficient crops.  It is therefore healthier to eat organic food.  There is nothing tastier than eating home-produced food, gathered fresh from the garden or from a local organic farmer.  We can rest assured that it's completely natural, relatively uncontaminated, tasty, fresh and packed full of nutrients and essential enzymes.

  • Better for our health: If we reduce the use of harmful chemicals in our homes, we'll become healthier.  Computers, air-conditioning units, dust, cleaning fluids, dyes, glues, paint, detergents, soft furnishing, insulation, and many chemical-based health and beauty products all produce or contain toxins that affect our well-being.  If you make an effort to buy eco-friendly cleaners, washing powder and washing-up liquid, you'll reduce your exposure to toxins and they won’t have such a detrimental effect on our treated and natural water supplies. 

  • Great for wildlife:  If you can, try to avoid the use of harmful pesticides and other agrochemicals in your garden.  We've seen dramatic decreases in insect populations around the world - these bugs are essential as they provide food to other wildlife, help in the decomposing of natural waste, and also help cross-fertilise our fruit and vegetables through pollination.  Organic gardens and farming methods are much friendlier to the environment, resulting in a greater diversity of butterflies, bees, other insects, birds, worms, amphibians and mammals - each of which contributes to nature’s biodiversity.

  • Conserving energy - less impact on nature’s resources: Organic techniques reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources.  The world’s population is increasing, yet many of our resources are in limited supply.  We can help secure our future by opting for sustainable renewable resources and recycling methods.

  • Minimise our waste and recycling:  Because of our 'disposable' attitudes in the developed world, we produce an increasing amount of waste.  This waste ranges from pollution omissions, energy in the home or at work, packaging, old appliances and cars, as well as kitchen and garden waste.  Simply leaving the TV set on ‘standby’ generates an additional 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.  So, how can we be more careful?  How do we dispose of our waste safely?  Where can we put our waste material today and in the future?  Being aware of these issues, taking responsibility for our own waste and actively getting involved with recycling and waste reduction are important solutions that will help minimise our overall waste.

  • Local solutions to global issues:  Going organic encourages an individual to act at a local level, yet have a better understanding about how our actions impact the wider world.  Both as an individual, and within a group, we can collectively put pressure on politicians and global suppliers to become more environmentally-friendly and make our world a healthier place to live.

Going organic is not just about organic food – it should become a way of life.  The purchase of organic gardening products, cleaning products, health and beauty products, clothes, the consumption of environmentally-friendly energy – the list is endless - will all help to reduce the detrimental effect that our farms, homes, gardens, towns and cities are having upon the wider natural environment. 

Here are a couple of good UK suppliers of fresh, mostly 'local' organic produce who will deliver direct to your door:



Furthermore, here is a up-and-coming Spanish business supplying the Costa Blanca coast in Spain:

So, to summarise .. why should you support organic farming?


  • Organic food tastes better - this overwhelming view of most people who eat organic.

  • Organic fruit and vegetables have been shown in a number of studies to contain more vitamins, nutrients and cancer fighting anti-oxidants than non-organic food.

  • Organic farming methods aim to avoid the use of artificial chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers.

  • Organic food is produced without the laboratory-created GMO's, which are prohibited in the Soil Association's standards for organic food and farming.

  • Organic farming places greater emphasis on animal welfare and that of mankind too.

  • Organic food is produced without the routine use of antibiotics.

  • Organic farming reduces the dependency on non-renewable resources.  We all should care about the future health and welfare of our planet.

  • Organic production is more sustainable and friendlier to the environment and wildlife.

  • There has never been a case of BSE in an organic dairy herd.

  • Organic farming methods rely on a modern and scientific understanding of ecology and soil science, whilst also depending on traditional methods of crop rotations to ensure fertility and weed and pest control.

Going organic does not necessarily mean turning your life upside down, but it can help to change our lives for the better.  More importantly, we will help to create a sustainable future and legacy for our grandchildren and their grandchildren alike.







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