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Is Your Food Really Organic?

The organic food trend came in our lives all of a sudden. From cucumber to exotic avocado, from pulses to salad leaves or from spices to rice, every food item we purchased from the grocery or vegetable store had its organic variety too. No doubt the prices of these organic food items are higher than the normal ones.

Chander Mohan
Different Organic Vegetables
Different Organic Vegetables

Sikkim in India is the Organic State. The complete product, maybe the fruits and vegetables or the wheat and moreover the spices, daals and other cereals are all organic because there were no agrochemicals used for the growth of the crops.

Organic fruits and vegetables, as well as organic food stores, were popular at one time. Several stores advertised that they solely carried organic products. They also charged greater costs than standard products. What are the standards for establishing whether a product is organic? Let's have a look at what constitutes organic.

The United Nations' recent designation of Sikkim as the world's first Organic State has reignited the big organic debate: what exactly is organic – and how can we identify a truly organic product?

Simply said, an organic product is one that was grown without the use of pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or artificial additives. Instead, crop rotation, animal and plant manure, and biological pest management are used.

It is advantageous to both us and the environment. Following environmentally responsible agroecology practices in food production ensures a brighter future for our biodiversity while also being nutritionally beneficial to us, including, according to some, lowering the risk of cancer.

But, with so much organic items on the market, it's difficult for the ordinary consumer to tell the difference between genuine organic product and something that's just cashing in on the fad. So, how can we be certain that the food we eat is truly chemical-free? It is not easy, but there are a few checks to make.

Organic vs. (100% ) Organic -The first distinction to make is that not all organic food on the market is 100 percent organic.

Labelling is important in identifying this difference. In India, a farm can be certified by any one of a number of certifying agencies recognised by the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), and any food item can correspond to one or more organic certification requirements.

Unless the product expressly states that it is 100 per cent organic, you will need to research the certification standards of the label on your food to determine how organic it is. The worldwide criteria for labelling anything organic requires it to be completely free of chemicals and pesticides, however, India does not always follow the regulations.

The Telangana State Seed & Organic Certification Authority, for example, recently tested a sample of organic food in India to find that almost all the sample contained chemical residuse.

Understanding Certificates and Standards - An organic farm may strive to get certified by both Indian and international standards both. You can get various organic food certifications, such as:

  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI),

  • Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)

These are authorized bodies, EU organic standards, and more. The more certifications, the better the chances of the food being 100 percent organic. When a farm becomes certified organic, some non-organic farms may deceive consumers by unethically delivering their produce under that label through some private financial agreement. To make matters even more complicated, consider the inverse.

Not all uncertified foods are non-organic. Small farmers that do outstanding work and grow organic commodities frequently find it difficult or complex to obtain the necessary certification.

Groundwater pollution is one of the major causes of toxins seeping into crops, creating concerns about the organic status of any food produced in India. Farms are one alternative for rainwater gathering.

In this regard, the India Organic logo, a bird logo, is a crucial check. If you are serious enough, you can also do some research and due diligence to see how the farm where your food is grown uses water. Most organic farms are open to the public, and anyone is welcome to inspect their methods at any time.

Price, in fact, should not be a factor. There is no genuine reason for organic food to be more expensive than non-organic, and experts agree that the cost of conventional and organic cultivation is nearly the same.

The farmers do not make money. on these high costs that we as consumers pay for organic food.

Is Your Food Really Organic? - Testing organic food for chemicals is a lengthy and expensive prospect. While people are continuously devising new ways of detecting impurities and pesticides in milk and vegetables, for now, the only solution to making sure that you are eating 100 percent organic food may be to… grow your own food.

(Also read: How to identify the authenticity of Organic Food in India)

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