The Whole Truth About Organic Food: Is it Health or Hype?
Harnoor Channi-Tiwary , NDTV | Updated: May 07, 2015 11:59 IST
In times gone by, kitchens stocked with organic ingredients were found only in the homes of the rich and famous. A relatively new concept in urban India, if someone had insisted on organic food a decade ago, he would have been labelled as being quite a snob. But as Indians are travelling more and getting exposed to increasing amounts of information through the internet, their perspectives are also undergoing a transformation. It is interesting to notice trends depicting growth in the number of people realising the benefits of chemical-free food. They are now willing to go that extra mile (and often that extra Rupee) to make it part of their lifestyles.
The argument supporting organic food is simple and easy to understand. The techniques used in organic agriculture focus on land and soil health and thus towards a sustainable balanced eco-system. Of great importance is the fact that there are no pesticides and insecticides used here. Thus, the produce obtained is chemical-free and has great health benefits. In today’s busy urban life, with both partners busy pursuing their careers, the consumption of canned or preserved food is on the rise. Nutritionally, this has many negative effects on the body. Not only are these chemicals and preservatives harmful for you, eliminating them also renders the food healthier and tastier. In addition, it is also proven that organic food is a great antioxidant.
Why Organic Foods Are Good For YouOne may question the supposed benefits of organic foods and argue that they do not justify the incremental cost involved. Until recently, this may have been true. This health benefit came with a hefty price tag. However, with Indian entrepreneurs rising to the occasion, market dynamics of demand and supply have brought these costs down. As more efficient techniques of production are being employed, the incremental cost is now merely 10-20% over the regular produce.
Is Organic too Expensive?
Organic Labels to Look Out
Fad or fact, if you so choose, chemical-free foods are now easily available for you to include them in your diet. To start off, ease into the lifestyle and don’t do anything drastic. Introduce only one organic element in your kitchen. It could be fruits, vegetables or even pulses. You do not need to go around looking for them either. With the advent of online retailing, it is now easy to order organic products online and have them home delivered for no extra charge at all.
It is imperative for the consumer to be certain that the food being ordered is truly organic and not only labelled so. Make sure that you only purchase things which have been audited and certified. They should display an organic certification logo such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), USDA, etc.
The argument that cultivating and using organic food is good for the environment and the earth’s eco-system is a strong one and stands undisputed. Yet, in the realistic world, we often need more than a philanthropic reason to change our habits. It is only when one understands and accepts the health benefits of such a lifestyle, can sustained transformation be made in society.
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