Organic Agriculture is something which can affect all of us, from tree surgeons in London to architects in Shanghai, and is the subject of this article as we explore its creation, value and benefits to humans.
As we all know we have been greatly encouraged to eat more healthily as a result of government campaigns. The government is spending huge amounts of money in the National Health Service paying for treatments for diseases and illnesses such as diabetes or heart conditions. Prevention is always better than cure and that is why we all know about getting our five pieces of fruit and veg a day.
Of course, the next step with fruit and vegetables in terms of improving our health is to eat organic foods. That means foods that aren’t treated with synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or are in some way genetically modified.
While the health advantages have already been outlined the impact on the environment of eating food that is grown locally can have a hugely beneficial impact on the environment. Although wine, for example, can be grown and delivered from anywhere in the world – from Australia to Chile or America, home grown wines are proving to be getting more popular as the cost of transport makes them less expensive and greener.
Of course, the fact that growing organic foods can be more expensive often cancels out any savings made by the lesser transport costs, however if people can afford healthier foods then they will purchase them.
However, there has been a lot of research that had been published suggesting that organic foods are in fact less healthy, and that can be confusing for the consumer. Consumers seem to be making their mind up, however, with the industry now valued at almost $ 55 billion with it being almost non-existent twenty years ago.
Of course, that’s not to say that the organic industry is the preserve of the big players. Sure, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda all offer organic options, however many smaller farmers supply locally and single orders aren’t unheard of, with them even being the staple business of some online companies. It’s a challenge to make serious money for the smaller farmer, but with organic food becoming more popular it is a battle these farmers appear to be winning.
As you can see there is a lot of progress to be made for the organic food industry, just as there is plenty to be done to prove that organic food is healthier. The first twenty years for this industry have been interesting – what will the next twenty hold?