Frequently Asked Questions
Organic food is that which is grown without chemicals and processed without chemical additives. Organic farming does not use chemicals, genetic modification, or irradiation. Crops are grown using only natural products - organic seeds, organic fertilizers, compost, and organic pest control. It has to comply with standards set by the relevant national governments and international organizations.
Organic certification in India is carried out by agencies accredited of APEDA, Government of India. National Programme for Organic Certification (NPOP) provides the Certificate of Accreditation. Apeda’s organic logo is
• Organic produce is not covered in a cocktail of poisonous chemicals. The average conventionally-grown apple has 20-30 artificial poisons on its skin, even after rinsing.
• Fresh organic produce contains on average 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farmed produce.
• It is the only practical way to avoid eating genetically modified (GM) food.
• Organic farming is done in harmony with nature. Seasonal produce is favoured, crop rotation and other healthy practices are followed.
• Organically grown plants are nourished naturally using green manures and composts, rendering the structural and metabolic integrity of their cellular structure superior to those conventionally grown. As a result, organically grown foods can be stored longer and do not rot as fast as conventionally grown plants.
Check the certification. Lots of producers also use certifications from other countries [because they are exporters, and need to be compliant to that country’s laws]. According to the USDA [the United States Department of Agriculture] products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods can be labeled "100% organic". Products with at least 95% organic ingredients can use the word "organic".
Several uncertified brands are also available, and these are usually more economical, since certification itself is an expensive process. Checking the source of the produce, being part of an organic cooperative, and using trusted brands also ensures that even if uncertified, one still has access to organic food. Even the look of the product helps you decide – the perfect looking racks of fresh conventional produce in the supermarket aisles is so different from the organic produce that may in imperfect in shape, size or colour, or may have tell tale signs of bugs etc.
• Chemical pesticides & fertilizers strip the soil of its natural resistance. They also deplete its nutrients and alter the natural composition of the soil by disturbing the mineral, organic and inorganic constituents. Natural composts and pesticides will yield healthy produce and a healthy environment. For example, over three billion tones of topsoil in the US alone is lost due to conventional farming.
• Chemicals linger in the soil and circulate in the environment for years, even decades. These chemicals travel globally on wind and water, ending up in regions as remote as the Arctic. Through bio-accumulation in our fat cells, they even increase in concentration in our bodies over a period of years. In animals, and sometimes in humans, many of them can raise the risk of cancer or other diseases, alter hormones, reduce fertility or disrupt brain development.
• Organic farming methods help reverse the damage done by the conventional methods through techniques like crop rotation, careful water use (and controlling runoff), and using natural fertilizers like compost and manure instead of chemicals. So, supporting organic farmers helps preserve soil, and increases its nutrient value.
• Organic agriculture can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by effectively locking more carbon into the soil rather than releasing it into the atmosphere, and supporting the balance of nature.