Organic food production, either in your backyard or on a commercial scale, is a form of agriculture where synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilisers are prohibited. This is the same for organic animal farming; no antibiotics or growth hormones can be used by the farmers (and all feed must be organically produced).
Organic farming practices focus on stimulating the soil to create healthy, strong crops. Conventional farms, however, add large inputs of potential pollutants such as pesticides and synthetic fertilisers to the soil. Although artificial intervention like this helps to control pests and diseases, it often deteriorates the soil.
If you speak to an organic farmer, they’ll proudly share with you how healthy their soil structure is. The thought of spraying chemicals over crops will send shivers down their spine. Organic farmers have to be creative when it comes to pests and diseases. Employing sustainable farming practices such as crop rotation, natural soil fortifiers and understanding life cycles of pests are all important strategies for organic farmers.
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. This means that an organism has had genetic material from a different species added to its own DNA. One of the main purposes behind GMO development is to patent a seed. By changing the DNA in this way, the seed becomes a “human invention” and therefore the company who owns the patent collects royalties for its use – usually from the growers. If, like us, this way of thinking doesn’t sit right for you, then choose GMO-free foods.
Pesticides are sprayed by conventional farmers to target insects, plants and fungi. If products are “pesticide-free”, “insecticide-free”, “spray-free” or “chemical-free”, they’re grown and produced without chemicals, however have not been tested against the strict regulations to be Certified as Organic.
So, do you think the chimps are onto something? We think so!