Organically farmed animals and poultry are treated with respect. They are held as closely to their natural habitat as possible – always ‘free-range’ and always with bedding and protection from the elements. They are not subjected to growth hormones, antibiotics or routine drug therapies. Food animals raised organically grow more slowly than their conventional equivalent and their meat becomes more flavorsome during the lengthy process. Another reason why organic meat tastes better is mainly due to the fact that Organic Farmers choose traditional heritage breeds that are best noted for their flavour rather than selecting breeds that produce a high yield.
Wildlife, The Environment & Superbugs
Organic farming promotes wildlife biodiversity rather than destroying it as conventional farming does. Biodiversity plays a vital role in supplying habitat for the birds and insects that an organic farm needs in order to function. Wild flowers on organic farms attract butterflies and useful predators to enhance farming.
Organic farms are required to set aside at least 5% of their farming environment to biodiversity areas where there is no agricultural production. Over the last 30 years, intensive farming in many countries has led to dramatic erosion of soil. Bird populations have declined by up to 70%, and some species of butterflies, frogs, grass snakes and wild mammals have been brought near extinction. Conventional Farmers are using more chemicals now than they did 50 years ago, yet over the same time span, crop losses from insect damage have increased. If this continues the future for the environment looks pretty sad. Widely used antibiotics are causing resistant strains of bacteria to develop in conventional reared animals, including some farmed fish. If humans become infected with these organisms, conventional antibiotic treatment may not be enough. The relentless drip of antibiotics into the food chain, coupled with years of over-prescription by careless doctors, means that we could soon face an epidemic of life-threatening Superbugs. In 1997, the World Health Organisation found antibiotic resistant strains of pathogenic Salmonella, Campylobacter, Enterococci and Ebola had been transmitted from animals to humans, with serious consequences for human health.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 75% of the genetic resources for food and farming have been lost within the last century. Thankfully in Australia we have companies like Eden Seeds, here in Australia, who sell our Organic Farmers heritage seeds.
Even though conventional farmers use specific chemicals to target pests, they are toxic to many creatures. Small mammals and birds are often killed or weakened by conventional farming techniques including the treatment of seeds heavily treated with chemicals to prevent them from being eaten. These highly poisonous chemicals, which last for years in the environment, kill numerous birds and animals each year.
Chemicals sprayed on crops eventually penetrate the plants or trickle down into the soil. Polluting the land and draining into the water table, these poisons then flow into streams and rivers polluting the ecosystem. Conventional fertilizers are just as damaging to the ecosystem as pesticides. Nitrate-based fertilizers also seep into the water system, stimulating the growth of algae throwing the whole ecosystem out of balance and poisons waterways.
Support Family Businesses
Although more and more large-scale farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small, independently owned family farms of fewer than 100 acres. It is estimated the United States has lost more than 650,000 family farms in the past decade. And the US Department of Agriculture predicted that half of the countries farm production would come from 1% of farms by the year 2000, organic farming could be one of the few survival tactics left for family farms. Don’t let Australia go down the same path. Most Organic Retailers are also Australian family owned and run, including Lettuce Deliver. Big organic business often loses sight of sustainability, while family owned businesses are more likely to look at the bigger organic picture, encouraging smaller operators and concerned with so much more than profit margins ! Vote with your dollar – Eat Organic Food and Support Family Businesses.
Farm Workers Health and Fair Trade
Many farm workers in developing countries are exposed to horrific amounts of poisons every day from childhood onwards. Pesticide exposure can lead to diseases and cancers. The children of farm workers are more likely to have genetic defects that continue on to the next generation. The workers often receive very little pay for backbreaking, long day’s work and in some countries the average age of death for farm workers is around 50.
Buying organic food avoids supporting this type of injustice. Spending your dollar on organic food is a direct way of working towards a fairer trading world.
At Lettuce Deliver we pay our Farmers and suppliers a fair price for their work to encourage them to continue farming organically. We also pay of Staff a fair price for the contribution they provide in making Lettuce Deliver the most respected, biggest and best Home Deliverer of Certified Organic Fresh Produce in Australia.
For all these reasons and more swap to eating organic food today ! Don’t waste another moment eating lifeless food chosen for yield not taste, grown out of season, picked immature, transported long distances, stored in a controlled atmosphere for months at a time and then sold ‘fresh’ in the supermarket.