what is organic food ?10 REASONS TO BUY ORGANIC GOOD
Organic food carrying the IOFGA logo has been produced to the highest standards. It is produced according to organic farming principles which are committed to working in harmony with nature rather than against nature. Organic farming works within the natural confines of the farming eco-system to provide you with great tasting food!
In practice organic farming;
- Avoids the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides
- Requires the highest standards of animal welfare
- Does not permit the use of genetically modified organisms
- Uses less fossil fuel energy per calorie of food produced
- Protects our biodiversity by maintaining suitable habitats for plants, animals and wildlife
- Encourages people to buy their food locally and in season
When you see the IOFGA logo on organic food you can guarantee that this product has been inspected and approved to meet the organic standards. Organic farming in Ireland is the one system of farming which is fully certified and regulated and we in IOFGA are proud to see so many high quality products carry our logo.
TEN REASONS TO BUY ORGANIC GOOD
- STRICT STANDARDS Organic food meets strict standards that are your assurance that it is healthy and safe to eat
- CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES Organic farming does not use the chemicals and pesticides that are routinely used in non organic food production
- ANIMAL WELFARE Animal welfare is a priority for organic farmers and all animals are reared on grassland which is entirely free of chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. Animals have free range and adequate living space and bedding so you can rest assured that an organic animal has had a good life.
- HEALTHY SOIL Organic farmers ensure that they maintain a healthy soil to pass on to future generations by incorporating methods such as rotations and adding natural fertility such as green manures or farmyard manure
- WATER QUALITY Organic farms preserve our valuable resources as no pollutants are released into our waterways
- BIODIVERSITY Studies have shown that organic farms support a greater number of species than non-organic farms
- ENERGY Organic farms do not apply artificial chemicals and fertilisers which are by-products of the fossil fuel industry. Instead organic farming methods increase soil carbon and therefore reduce green house gases. Organic farming can directly contribute to reducing our emissions and therefore reducing the impact of climate change
- GM Organic farming prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms
- TASTE Many people genuinely believe that organic food tastes better!
- GOOD FOR NATURE GOOD FOR YOU!
GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD
Proponents of genetic modification often state that it is the latest in a continuum of biotechnologies developed by humans since the dawn of time – from bread and wine-making to selective breeding. It is true that many of the food crops that we eat bear little resemblance to the wild plants from which they originated. Nevertheless, there are clear differences between genetic engineering and traditional breeding.
In nature genetic diversity is created within certain limits. For example, a rose can be crossed with a different kind of rose but not with a potato. Genetic engineering on the other hand usually involves taking genes from one species and inserting them into another different species in an attempt to transfer a desired trait or character. An example of this would be selecting a gene which expresses antifreeze characteristics from an artic fish (such as a flounder) and splicing it into a potato or strawberry to create frost resistance. It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, animals, or even humans.
IOFGA is vehemently opposed to this type of technology in food production. We consider it to be unnecessary, unwanted, and unethical. We believe GM technology will compromise our ability as a country to produce safe food. We do not believe that GM foods can co-exist with organic farming and we strongly assert that the adoption of a GM free policy is essential for the island of Ireland.
International trials of GM cultivation have shown that:
- Yields have not increased as promised.
- Reliance on pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers has increased – not decreased as promised.
- Weeds and pests have developed resistance to GM crops and pesticides resulting in ‘superweeds’ and ‘superbugs’ that need even larger amounts of herbicides and pesticides.
- There have been problems with cross contamination and cross fertilisation between GM and non-GM crops. These have led to sometimes lengthy law suits and are a potentially explosive problem if more GM crops are planted.
- This technology is expensive and costly for farmers and makes them more dependent on the agribusiness giants in order to sustain a livelihood.
- There are proven health risks associated with GM technology. In 1998 Scottish scientists found damage to every single internal organ in rats fed blight resistant GM potatoes. There are many more such examples illustrating very serious concerns with GM food.
- GM technology has not reduced levels of world hunger as promised. In fact, it has made poor farmers more indebted and less self sufficient and consequently more food insecure than ever before.
The most convincing argument of all is that consumers throughout Europe have consistently voted against growing GM crops.
It is true that the era of cheap food is over – on account of rising production and fuel costs. However, this also shows that we should be moving away from oil based food production such as GM and embracing sustainable methods like organic farming – based on renewable energy and carbon reduction.