The Benefits of Organic Food
The early definitions of what constituted Organic Food were developed personally by talking to the farmers and directly viewing the farm activities and conditions. Small, mostly family owned and operated farms would raise livestock and grow fruits and vegetables utilizing Organic Food farming practices, shunning artificial fertilizers, herbicides, steroids and other chemicals, and since there was no formal certification process, the entire chain of Organic Food production was essentially on the honor system.
A great benefit of Organic Food today is that strict production standards are used in order to produce those types of foods. For a crop to be considered organic it should not have been grown with conventional pesticides, sewage sludge, artificial fertilizers, or human waste. As is clearly evident that is a very major benefit of Organic Food. The crops would also have to of not been processed with food additives or ionizing radiation.
For animal based foods to be considered organic the animal must have been bred and raised free of growth hormones and without the use of antibiotics throughout its lifetime. Organic, in most countries, is defined as food which has not been modified genetically and thus can contain all of the healthful benefits of Organic Food.
Lawmakers are continually increasing the regulation of all the applicable laws over the production of organic foods. The European Union, the United States, and Japan, among many other countries, regulate these foods by requiring producers to have certification that their foods are in fact fully organic before marketing them as organic to ensure the maximum benefit of Organic Food to the consumer.
To fulfill the definition of organic food, the product processed must contain only organic ingredients to maximize the benefit of Organic Food. Where the product is composed of a variety of ingredients, a majority percentage of the plant and animal ingredients have to be certified as organic otherwise it is difficult to derive the benefit of Organic Food. This percentage is as high as 95% in Australia, which has some of the most stringent organic food standards in the world.
Any ingredients which are produced through non-organic means must still meet a barrage of strict requirements. They must be tested to contain an absence of artificial food additives, and must be produced with a very minor reliance on artificial methods, conditions and materials. Therefore any form of food irradiation, chemical ripening, or the inclusion of any genetically modified ingredients cannot be included in the processing as this would defeat the integral benefit of Organic Food.
There is also a preference for these ingredients to be produced and processed utilizing technologies which save energy and create little pollution, as well as being packaged in biodegradable or recyclable materials. The consumer who is seeking the benefit of Organic Food demands that the entire production process to be as "green" as possible. In this age when we are clearly seeing the limitations of artificial forms of agriculture, Organic Food is now at the forefront of consumer attention in the United States and elsewhere.