What does it mean to be Organic?
The word “organic” tends to get tossed around a lot. The first things that come to mind are, ‘healthy, wholesome, and good for the environment.’ But let’s look a little deeper into what it really means when it comes to your oil, grains, bars and supplements.
Dictionary.com defines the word as “noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon.” In other words, it is closely related to the phrase “all-natural” in that no chemicals have been added to the plant.
Why are pesticides and chemical fertilizers used?
They’re often cheaper and more convenient. Pesticides help keep the bugs from eating your crops and therefore yielding a greater number of successful crops. Fertilizer is a way to help replenish the carbon nitrogen content of the soil in order for the plants to get the nutrients needed to grow. Because it is artificial, the soil and the crops do not work together to help yield better crop the next year. As fertilizer is used year after year, the plants suck out all the nutrients from the soil and leave you needing more and more fertilizer every year. Some actions to avoid this process are crop rotation and organic fertilizers.
What do pesticides and chemical fertilizers do to the environment?
Pesticides are designed to keep bugs and animals from eating the crops. When runoff makes it into the water supply or the wind distributes the pesticides to surrounding fields, it can be harmful to the wildlife and even humans. High consumption of pesticides can be harmful to human health causing birth defects or long-term nerve damage. However, most pesticides used have been highly regulated to reduce this potential hazard. Chemical fertilizer is another foreign additive to the environment. The main danger is in the runoff. Fertilizer often does not fully absorb into the soil and then runs off into the nearby rivers and lakes when the rain comes. The high nitrogen content is then harsh on the environment and is thought to be a dangerous use of chemicals.
Organic supplements, food, meal replacements, and oils all share a common theme that no pesticides or chemical fertilizers were involved in the production process. There are many steps in the procedure to becoming certified organic, including being pesticide free for multiple years and then adhering to routine “check-ups.” Everything from fresh fruit to oil to grains, bars to supplements, have the potential to be certified organic…take note next time you go to the store!
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