How is organic farming/processing
better for the environment?
Organic farming is a form of agriculture, which does not use
environmentally harmful chemicals that may contaminate rain and groundwater.
It replenishes and enhances the fertility of soil, conserves water and
ensures the sustainable use of bio diversity.
What are the most popular organic products?
The most frequently purchased organic products are vegetables, fruits and
cereal/grains. While, the other popular category of organic products include
soy foods, poultry, eggs, meat and dairy alternatives.
What is unique about organic produce?
Organic products are unique in the sense that they are grown without using
any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified seeds, hybrid
varieties and other such means. Natural organic products are essentially
cultivated without even having a single trace of chemicals. In case of
natural organic products, even synthetic ripening agents are not permitted
and one can not compromise with the genetics of the farm produce.
What does "Organic" mean?
Organic agriculture or farming is defined as the perfect means of
sustainable economic development of the society at large and protects the
environment as well. It promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health,
bio-diversity, biological cycles and soil biological activities. Moreover,
it is the proven method of agriculture that conserves environment by
eliminating the use of synthetic inputs, such fertilizers, pesticides,
veterinary drugs, genetically modified seeds and breeds, preservatives,
additives and irradiation. The major concern for organic production is to
utilize management practices that maintain and increase long-term soil
fertility and prevent pest and diseases.
What are standards that define "certified organic"?
A product is "certified organic" when it is cultivated strictly
as per the stipulated guidelines laid by National standards for Organic
Programme (India)/ National Organic Programme (USA)/European Organic Rules
(Euro 2092/91). The production cycle of the organic product is verified by
public or private organizations accredited to International Federation of
Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) or Agricultural and Processed Food
Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
What are the organic standards for raising meat, poultry and
Organic livestock standards restricts the use of synthetic growth hormones
such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). The animals are raised on
a regular diet of quality feed free of antibiotics. All the animals should
be raised on natural conditions with sufficient space, shelter and gentle
handling to limit stress. Further, the processing for meat, poultry and
dairy products must comply with organic standards as well.
Do organic foods generally cost more than conventional foods?
Certified organic products have a premium value attached with them due to
steep rise in the demand of the product in the international market. The
price of the organic products may be higher because they are produced in
considerably smaller scale and may need to be milled or processed
How large is the organic foods industry?
Organic Industry have grown at a rapid pace of nearly 20 percent per year
for the last seven years and as per the latest survey, conducted by IFOAM -
the existing market of organic products is about US$ 40 billion. Organic
foods have become more popular in the consumer market of North America,
Europe and Japan. The increase in organic food consumption in India is
evident from the fact that many organic food stores are spurring up in the
country. Today, almost every supermarket has an organic food store and every
large city has numerous organic food stores and restaurants.
Where can I find more information about organic foods?
Information related to organic products is easily available on Internet.
Some of the major website are listed below from where one can obtain
information about organic food products:
What is the difference between "organic" and "natural"?
While, organic products refer to those, which are organically cultivated -
That means - using vermi- compost and bio pesticides, which are equally
effective and control live wood and scavenging termites and other pests that
damage agricultural crops.
The labeling "Natural" implies that the product has undergone
minimal processing and does not contain any artificial ingredients. Unlike
products that are certified organic, natural products have no certification
or inspection system. Also, "natural" does not specifies what
method is used for the cultivation as well as the use of synthetic
fertilizers and preservatives.
Do organic farmers ever use pesticides?
Organic farming does not allow the use of chemicals & pesticides, but
it does not mean that the farmers do not use pesticides. They only use bio
pesticides, which are indigenously made using local farm, animals, plants
and microorganisms (Neem leaves & seeds, kernel extract, cow urine etc.)
to control pests and plant diseases. As per global norms, there are approved
substances, which can be used under restricted conditions.
What is the difference between organic and conventional
Comparative study between conventional and organic farming - emphasizes
largely on the integration of the major management factors such as the crop,
soil and livestock management. These are relatively small-scale independent
operations. Also organic farming requires minimal inputs, which are to be
purchased and the need to manage farms more intensively becomes pertinent.
What is the system followed worldwide for labeling product as
The labeling of organic products are done at two levels - national as well
as international accreditation systems. Two international organizations,
Codex Alimentarius and the International Federation of Organic Agricultural
Movements (IFOAM) aims to develop globally recognized and accepted food
standards to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair trade
practices. Some of the major standards followed for organic certification in
different countries are as follows:
- JAS (Japan)
- Indian National Standards for Organic Products (NSOP)
- European Regulation EEC 2092/91
- US-NOP standards