Table of Contents
Organic food is the products received as a result of technology of an organic agriculture. The technology of an organic agriculture assumes the use of the only natural means and ways of reception, processing and storage of foodstuff.
The organic agriculture is a complex control system of manufacture which stimulates and strengthens health of an agrarian ecosystem, including a biological variety, cycles and activity of soil that is reached by the use of whenever possible agronomical, biological and mechanical methods in a counterbalance to application of synthetic materials for performance of specific functions in a system.
It is difficult enough to define when, for the first time, an organic agriculture was implied. Its concept existed to the invention of synthetic agrochemicals. However, as an independent direction the organic agriculture began to be formed in the beginning of the 20th. For the first time,the concept of organic agriculture was introduced by Lord Northbourne, the expert in agriculture of Oxford University,andthe definition was published in 1940 in the book «Look to the Land».
One of founders of organic agriculture became a British botanist Albert Howard. His book «Agricultural precept», left in 1940, had huge influence on many scientists and farmers. Howard has described negative influence of chemical fertilizers on health of animals and a plant, has offereda system of fertilizersforthe soils, based on the use of composts from the vegetative rests and manure.
Now,almost 140 countries of the world practice an organic agriculture. In 1998 there were 8 million hectares of land where an organic agriculture was used andthe amount of them became more than 30 million hectaresin 2006. There are more than 700 thousand organic farms all over the world now. Leaders as to the total area of organic agricultural grounds are Australia (12,3 million hectares), China (2), Argentina (2,2), the USA (1,9), Italy (1,1), Uruguay (0,9), Spain (0,9), Brazil (0,8), Germany (0,8), Great Britain (0,6).
The world market of pesticides is estimated in the sum about 30 billion dollars annually. It is used more than one million tons of pesticides, 60 % ofthem for agriculture. Chemicals (insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) are used tofertilize soil, struggle against weeds, insects and rodents, protect crops against mould and fungi. With their help productivity raises, a period of storage of plants increases, the lookof fruit, vegetables and grain improves. The choice including5000 kinds of pesticides and 700 chemical components today is offered.
In comparison with the beginning of 40th when pesticides for the first time were used, their consumption increased in agriculture in ten times, and losses of crops because of insects increased twiceover the last 50 years. This statistics raises the question of "efficiency" of pesticides. It is interesting that application of pesticides has led to the development of 650 kinds of the wreckers resistantto some of these poisons. In the world,about3000 persons poison with pesticideseach day. More than one million of chemical substances polluteair, soils, water and productsper year. These figures are not less shocking across Europe. Only in 2005, the EU countries have started trying to enter uniform standards of estimation of danger because of the chemical substances that are present ina foodstuff, and uniform marks for a foodstuff. It is known that many pesticides are hazardous to health and possess propertiescausing cancer; however,till now,the buyer cannot define lookingon a label of the bought product whether not useful substances sate it. In the developed countries the consumer, basically, has a choice - to buy "organic" (grown up without chemicals) production or usual. The difference in the price is rather essential, and the choice of "organic" products is not so great, as usual. The huge assortment of "usual" products in supermarkets is, according to leading ecologists, "a strategic stock of the toxic weapon with a huge period of storage" (Richmond, Vyalski and Stephen).
The organization on environment protection supposes that from 320 pesticides resolved to application in agronomy, at least 66 are prospective carcinogens. Many of these pesticides are mixed up with 1200 neutral components and the composition of fertilizer manufacturers are not obliged to disclose referring it to be a "trade secret". Eight hundred of them were not checked as to the levels of toxicity, though presumably they are carcinogens. Pesticides are called "a mine of the slowed down action". If they are used for ten years, these chemicals accumulate in soil. They get into plants, sources of water and, thereafter in fish. The stockbreeding also suffers: the cattle eat the processed chemicals plants, receives injections of growth hormones and antibiotics. As a result, all "chemistry" is built in fabrics of animals. The facts are obvious - we risk receiving considerable doses of pesticides daily. These chemicals are biological poisons that destruct, and in a human body they slowly progress destroying cages and bodies. In 1990 Dr. M. A. Evans, aprofessor of Medical college of Chicago University, asserted that by his estimations, from 70 to 90 % of cases of a human cancer arise under the influence of environment factors. They are chemicals, synthetic food additives, agricultural chemicals and other factors, including a sunlight and food components. Thus Dr. Evans notices that the majority of the listed factors cannot be carcinogens themselves, however, operating in a combination with other factors, can make cancer-causing effect.
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Advantages of organic products
Excellent taste qualities, absence of harmful admixtures, high standards of quality of organic products, have positive influence on your organism, guard your health. Organic products are safe for a man and environment; they are not muddy nitrates, heavy metals, bits and pieces of pesticides, herbicides and other substances of chemical synthesis. Organic products do not contain pathogenic microorganisms, vermin and allergen components. Organic products do not contain genetically moderated organisms and substances done on their basis. Organic products save nourishing properties, quality, unconcern and natural composition at processing, as natural methods of processing and traditional recipes, natural substances and materials, are used only for packing, forbidden use of synthetic flavors, preservatives, additions and so on.
The use of organic products assists environmental preservation mediated, namely positively influences on the recreation of natural fertility of soils, assists the increase of natural bio variety; improves the health of animals, as such methods of their maintenance, that comport with their natural necessities and does not cause suffering to the animals, are used.
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There are many factors that can influence one’s decision buy organic foods. Some people claim that such products taste and smell better. However, there are some other reasons as to why people prefer to consume organic food. First of all, it is well known that farmers use pesticides for making their crops grow faster and protect them from different illnesses and insects. And people are concerned that the pesticides sprayed can remain on plants, which would eventually negatively influence the consumers of these crops. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that there are specific threshold levels of safety and that the amount of residues in the majority of products does not exceed these levels.
Apart from this, there exist organic regulations that forbid or strictly limit the use of food additives as well as technological additives in non-organic products, including preservatives, artificial sweeter, dyes, and aromas. On the other hand, some people refuse to buy non-organic products for ecological considerations as non-organic methods of conducting agriculture are negatively impact environment.
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Are there minuses at organic products?
· Organic products usually are more expensive than their traditional analogues. Rise in prices is caused, in particular, by more expensive methods of conducting agriculture.
· As organic fruit and vegetables do not become covered by wax and do not contain some preservatives, they can faster deteriorate. Besides, some organic products can look less perfect - the curve form, non-uniform, more ordinary-looking color or the smaller size. Nevertheless, natural products should correspond to the same quality standards and safety, as well as a usual foodstuff.
In the report “Consumers Union Research Team Shows: Organic Foods Really DO Have Less Pesticides”, published in 2002, it was said that the maintenance of the rests of pesticides in bio products has made 30 % from their maintenance in traditional products. In the USA monitoring of the rests of pesticides in agriculture and food-processing industry production is controlled by the Program of the data of pesticides (Pesticide Data Program) which is included into the code of laws of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the report of this service from 2005 there is a record: «Data testifies that 29.5 % of all checked up samples of bio products did not contain some pesticides, in 30 % the rests of one pesticide, in 40 % - more than one» are found out. Whole series of the further researches of various scientific institutions has confirmed that 25 % of bio products contain the rests of pesticides. According to standards of biologically-pure agriculture, use of synthetic pesticides is not supposed, but use of specific pesticides which are received, for example, from plants is authorized. EPA of the USA totals 195 registered substances-pesticides of an animal, vegetative or mineral origin which are used in 780 products. Bio pesticides are less dangerous, rather than usual pesticides, but it does not mean that they are completely nontoxic. Certainly, it is safer to use organic fertilizers because they are made basically of manure, peat, sea seaweed or compost. But for achievement of efficiency of their use, the big doses of entering are necessary that for the manufacturer means the big expenses. For example, to grow up identical quantity of production, about 4 t/hectares of organic fertilizers against 1t are necessary to bring the chemical.
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The European legislation, and also basic international standards of bio-manufactures and production processing, accepted IFOAM, the use of food additives (for example, E-153, E-170, E-200 and so on are authorized).
There is a danger proceeding from natural polluters, such as insects or microscopic fungi. For example, probability of infection of bio-corn mycotoxins is ten times higher than of genetically moderated grades tolerant to insects.
There are no certificates of that between organic food and the food made by traditional methods, there is a difference in nutritional value, as well as certificates of beneficial influence of organic food on health.