Organic is Better For Your Family - Here's the Proof
Here at Manor Farm, we are passionate about organic. All of our animals are raised using 100% organic methods, and we prioritise stocking organic produce in The Pantry shop.
But while most of us are used to seeing ‘organic’ as a label on certain foodstuffs, what exactly does it mean? And perhaps more to the point, why do people like us get so excited about it? What’s so great about organic?
In answer to the first question, the easy way to sum up organic farming is to think of it as recapturing ‘natural’ methods of food production. So when it comes to rearing animals and growing crops on a farm, that means things like not using chemical or synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, genetic modification (GMO), growth hormones and so on.
For raising livestock, it also means a commitment to free range methods, giving your animals plenty of time to live and develop outdoors where nature intended, enjoying natural diets.
From a technical point of view, there are other criteria that have to be fulfilled before you are allowed to label food as organic. EU regulations, for example, specify details relating to environmental protection, animal welfare, sustainable cultivation, biodiversity, product quality and more.
So what’s in it for me?
Rules around organic classification and labelling also pay attention to consumer interests. And a lot of what defines organic farming and food production translates directly into benefits for the people who buy or eat it.
Health is the most direct benefit. With fruit and vegetables grown using only natural mineral fertilisers and animal produce sourced from livestock fed organic diets and not pumped full of growth hormones, you can be sure about what the food on your plate contains. Synthetic chemicals used in intensive farming are very much present in the food chain, meaning they end up in your body.
Organic is also an easy choice for anyone who cares about the environment. Those same chemical fertilisers and pesticides that get into your body do untold damage to the environment, polluting rivers and streams from effluent and unsettling natural ecosystems. A pesticide used to kill insects that eat one particular crop is likely to kill the majority of insects, reducing pollinator numbers. With traditional methods of rotation and allowing fields to sit fallow to replenish their nutrient stock, you reduce the need for fertilisers and achieve a more sustainable process.
From an animal welfare perspective, organic is also much kinder to livestock. The requirement for organically reared animals to be raised free range avoids all the worst excesses of factory and battery farming. Allowed to grow and develop out in the countryside on a natural diet also results in stronger, healthier animals that are less likely to suffer from disease.
And that brings us to the final benefit of organic food - better quality. Meat from a healthy, slow raised animal that hasn’t been cooped up in a tiny cage all its life at high risk of communicable disease just tastes better. The same applies to eggs and milk, as it does to grain, vegetables and fruit grown the natural way and sold fresh.