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The organic boom started over a decade ago. Climate change, diet-related illnesses, shrinking biodiversity, and ultimately, COVID-19 – all of these prompt us to seek healthier alternatives. But with this shift comes confusion and misinformation. Does organic mean fresh? It is just for vegetables? What does “organic” really mean?
Marco Schlüter, Head of Strategy and International affairs of international farmer association Naturland, defines organic foods as products that are grown and processed through holistic practices that sustain the soils, ecosystems, and people. Global standards in organic farming generally promote the following:
For a product to be labeled as organic, it has to be certified. Naturland’s standards, which is one of the leading organic standards in the world, ensure that the minimum level of organic agricultural production is met. Not only the farmers but also the packers, food processors, and retailers should follow these standards to guarantee clean and safe food.
In the Philippines, ECHOstore is the first shop to be granted a Naturland certification. Certified organic products include Alter Trade’s Mascobado Sugar and Peter Paul's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
Organic food is clean, safe, and fair food. Some studies also say that organic foods may contain more nutrients.
But organic farming doesn’t just benefit consumers. It’s also good for farmers and producers. For one, they are trained to work at a higher standard. They are also less exposed to harmful pesticides and herbicides. And with higher demand from discerning buyers who recognize the value of organic food, organic farmers can count on a stable income.
Organic farming practices also help the environment. It reduces pollution, conserves water, ensures soil health, and uses less energy.
Indeed, organic food is not cheap. But that’s because it’s not mass-produced and bombarded with chemicals. And when you consider all the benefits, you’ll see that it’s worth your hard-earned peso.
So… how do you make the transition?
Now’s a great time to make healthier and informed choices. It may take some getting used to but organic food is here to stay and it makes a world of difference for you, your community, and the environment.