By Vinod Kumar Chendhil (Photograph © Nidhi Khurana)
Because it’s good for us all
1 Good for You
Researchers across the world have found that organic food is not only devoid of the toxic chemicals used by farmers but nutritionally superior to the conventional inorganic counterpart by lengths. So eating organic food not only saves you from a lot of life threatening diseases but also helps replenish your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
2 Good for Farmer
All organic farmers without exception are extremely hard working people. A simple visit to any organic farm will demonstrate that. Organic farming ensures that farmers are paid a fair premium for their hard work.
3 Good for Mother Nature
Because organic farming does not use any harmful chemicals, the farm land is much more fertile, and the microbial activity level in the soil is very high compared to that of inorganic farms. It is a common knowledge to all that nature provides everything, including minerals required to grow vegetables, fruits, grains and more. Organic farming is all about understanding the delicate balance of food and microbial chain in the soil. Thus, every organic farmer is also an expert microbiologist and a soil scientist. In organic farms, the growing of continuous cycles of alternating crops which complement each other increases the fertility of the soil. In inorganic farms, this cycle is cut short by the usage of harmful chemicals which do not discriminate between good and bad microbes and therefore, is required to be used every year to maintain the fertility of soil. Organic farming helps Mother Nature to preserve all microbes and grow food sustainably.
4 Good for Animals
Animals are an integral part of organic farming—right from cows, goats to hens. In India, cows have historical and spiritual significance. Cows provide cow dung and gau muthra or cow urine, which are used to make bio fertilisers for farms. In inorganic farms, since no composting or bio fertilisers are required, there is no need for animals. But if you look closely, animals in the farm do not only provide bio-fertilisers but also supplementary income to farmers by way of milk and cheese. By eating organic food, you help animals in farms and enable a healthy ecosystem of man-animal.
5 Good for the Nation
I, for one, strongly believe that organic food will help build a strong, healthy and a prosperous nation. A lot of people ask, “If we grow all our food organically, will we be able to feed a nation of a billion people?” My answer is YES.
The reason for that is simple. Today, the problem in our country is not ‘shortage of food’ but rather, it is to do with the ‘storage of food’ and ‘growing of food’. If you’ve been to any of the government food storage facilities you’ll see tons of produces rotting away in the open.
Secondly, in terms of growing of food, farmers today are so dependent on chemicals and subsidised farming that they’ve forgotten about the age old method of organic farming used by our forefathers. If farmers today adopt organic methods of farming, they would not need to spend on expensive chemicals or acquire huge debts that lead them to commit suicide en masse. Also, because organic farmers use multicropping techniques, store their own seeds, and have animals as secondary source of income, the dependency on weather is reduced to a large extent. A classic example is a group of organic farmers in Anantpur (India’s second most drought-prone district), where a group of farmers now grow millets, groundnuts and rice. They have achieved self reliance and happiness because they realised that organic farming is a sustainable alternative. Thus, by eating organic food, you help build the nation’s backbone, ie, our farmers.
The author is Founder & CEO of Naturally Yours, India’s leading brand in organic and natural foods