Getting to Know Organic Foods

There have been more and more campaigns to raise awareness of healthy living, which includes consuming organic foods. A lot of health experts have given credit to organic foods for their health benefits, one of which is explained on alodokter website that says organic foods are food items grown without synthetic chemical pesticides.

Chemical pesticides are often used in conventional farming. They are effective for killing fungi, pest, and insect infestation. Unfortunately, they also come with significant bad effects. They leave residue that sticks to the produce, which brings health risk. According to Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development under the Ministry of Agriculture, since 1960s, the use of chemical pesticides has made Indonesia’s soil lose fertility. Additionally, chemical pesticides can also damage agricultural areas and the environment.

Organic farming was then initiated to be a solution. This type of farming avoids using chemical pesticides as well as synthetic fertilizer, herbicide, mud waste, biotechnology, or ion radiation. Organic farmers use natural predators or insect traps to kill pests and insects. Then the agricultural products produced under this method are labeled organic according to the standard and certification of the National Standardization Agency.

The information below presents more details about various organic foods known to support healthy lifestyle.

1. Milk

We have often heard that milk is great for health. By consuming organic milk, we supply our body with better nutrition. According to the website allwomenstalk, organic milk has omega-3 content up to 68% higher than regular milk. Meanwhile, David Kiefer, MD from WebMD Foundation says that omega-3 can help brain memory power and prevent senility.

The cows producing organic milk are given special treatment. They are exclusively fed with organic feeds and are not injected with antibiotic. To keep the cows healthy, the organic milk farmers always keep the barns clean and protect the cattle from stress.

2. Fruit

Fruits like apple, strawberry, and peach are the best organic fruits. Non-organic apples are usually sprayed with pesticides 16 to 30 times during farming, says Soil Association. This is dangerous because the residue can get accumulated in the blood.

However, without the use of pesticides and other additives, organic fruits may appear not as appetizing as the non-organic ones. The colors may not be as bright and their sizes may be smaller.

3. Vegetable

Similar to the organic fruits, organic vegetables are also grown with organic farming method. The absence of pesticides may make the organic vegetables grow with a lot of holes in them because of insect bites. However, helpguide.org says this is normal. The insect or worm bites can be an indication that the vegetables are high in nutrition and chemical pesticide free. Pepper, celery, spinach, potato and string beans are some of highly credited organic vegetables.

4. Egg

Organic eggs are great for the heart. Compared to other organic foods, organic eggs are more affordable. Just like the cows farmed to produce organic milk, the chickens producing organic eggs are also treated special. The farmers only feed them organic feeds and do not inject them with chemical hormones or antibiotic. As a result, organic eggs have better nutrition.

5. Shrimp

Other than being used in farming or husbandry, organic method is also used for fishery, such as to produce organic shrimps. However, organic fishery is more difficult because the water has to be freed from chemical pollutants. Also, the feeds must be made from organic foods, such as organic vegetables for pellet foods.

6. Meat

The same treatment is given to cows farmed organically for either meat or milk. They eat organic feeds and are not injected with growth hormones or antibiotic. The meat is then richer in nutrition than the beef produced with conventional farming method.

Other than these food items, some organic items are being developed, like coffee and rice. The method is the same, i.e. organic farming. They are also sold with the label “organic” on the packaging, to distinguish them from non-organic foods.

The label can only be given by a special authority, such as the National Accreditation Committee and recognized by Competent Organic Foods Authority through a number of institutions like BIOcert (Bogor), INOFIC (Bogor), Sucofindo (Jakarta), LeSOS, Mutu Agung (Depok), PT Persada (Yogyakarta) and LSO Sumbar (Padang).

With this extra special farming process, no wonder that organic foods are much more expensive. However, if we have committed to living healthy, price may be less significant. So, think smart for a healthy life! 

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