An organic country seems like a far-away dream. At least until Denmark decided to step up. The country is now on its way to becoming an organic country, with its vision much, much closer to reality.
Only one percent of the farmland in the United States is organic. It seems far-fetched for the country to start having organic produce; but not for Denmark. The Danish people have always shown much appreciation for organic food. It’s no wonder the country is about to become fully organic.
Denmark has a national organic brand. For about 25 years, it has flourished in business. Now, it stands as one of the oldest organic brands in the world.
Apart from its flourishing organic business, the Danish government has been making sure the country will achieve its goal to become certified organic. The government has been using a variety of options as part of its plan to convert Denmark’s entire agriculture into organic and sustainable farming.
Ambitious as it may seem, but the country released a 67-point plan last year. The plan intends to double organic farming in a bid to produce more organic food in the country’s public institutions by the year 2020.
Denmark has set an example that the United States and other countries can follow.
Why is Organic Food Important?
Health is wealth, they say. Organic agriculture can help nourish this belief. After all, organic produce is good for a person’s overall health. Going organic means living a healthier lifestyle. Apart from every individual’s health,
going organic means helping out farm workers and saving the environment.
The benefits of organic food touch on a lot of aspects. Organic produce may be getting too many raised eyebrows because of its price, but in the long run, you would want to pay more for organic options.
- Organic farming can feed the world.
The trend is monocultures and chemical-intensive farming, while others go for GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism). All these are helpful, but they are not the answer to feeding the world. The “Wake Up Before It’s Too Late” 2013 report by the United Nations (UN) revealed that to sustainably feed the world, small-scale, organic farming is the sole answer.
The findings in the UN report stresses how everyone needs to gear toward local farmers and food systems. The shift would gear toward reducing the pollution released to the environment. In simpler words, organic farming is the only way to feed the world without causing much harm to soil, water, and air quality.
- Eating organic produce means consuming food with less exposure to pesticides.
Reduced pesticide exposure is important because most pesticides are highly toxic. Exposure to pesticides can result in cancer and birth defects. Environmental Health Perspectives published a study in 1998, which revealed that children exposed to pesticides in an agricultural area of Mexico suffered developmental effects. These include impaired memory, drawing ability, and stamina.
Consuming organic food reduces the risk of pesticide contamination. Everyone, especially farm workers and their families, children and pregnant women, will benefit from switching to organic foods. It’s the only way to avoid pesticide residues in food.
Pesticides not only affect the health of individuals, but also wreak havoc on the environment. Pesticide is odorless and invisible, making it harder to track the poison affecting non-farming communities. Even synthetic fertilizer is harmful — it’s the main cause of dead areas in delicate ocean environments. An example would be in the Gulf of Mexico, which is particularly bigger than New Jersey.
- 3. Organic food is healthier and it tastes better.
Apart from the benefit for human health and the environment, organic food is filled with more nutrition. Organic food has significant health benefits over conventional goods, as revealed by a study published by The Organic Center.
For instance, they are more anti-inflammatory and they are richer in antioxidants. Other studies even suggest that organic food seems to have lower nitrates.
Organic food can also better satisfy the taste buds. For example, organic berries are sweeter and flavorful, as found by researchers.
- Organic food helps move toward biodiversity and soil fertility.
Organic is the way to go to attain biodiversity and reforestation. Picture an organic farm and you will find thriving, diverse habitats, with native plants, beneficial insects, and indigenous animals.
Some farms have resorted to monocropping for the sake of soil fertility. Other farmers have relied on chemical fertilizers also for the same reason. But both the use of chemical fertilizers and monocropping take a toll on the soil.
With organic farming, farmers can increase soil fertility. It’s beneficial for the soil because it makes the soil more drought and flood resistant. Unlike monocropping and chemical fertilizers, organic farming would not take a toll on the soil — something that a world with unstable climates needs.
- Organic food does not have GMOs.
Almost everyone is avoiding genetically modified food (GMO). A majority of people are now going for non-GMO food, taking into account the importance of the Non-GMO Project seal. Almost half (46 percent) of American consumers are steering clear from GMOs. Forty-two percent of them won’t buy a product unless it has the Non-GMO Project seal.
More consumers a
re now lo
oking for food as close to nature as possible. Food created in laboratories has become less appealing and that’s where organic food comes in. GMOs are not allowed at any stage of organic food production.
Choosing organic is the best option for individuals who want to avoid GMOs in their food and the food they feed their loved ones.
Going Organic is Ambitious, But It’s Worth It
Denmark’s Food and Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen said the country’s plan to go organic is the “world’s most ambitious” plan, but it makes sense.
The Danish are way ahead of other countries in producing organic food. It is now the world’s leading nation in organic food consumption. Their organic exports have gone up by 200 percent since 2007.
Considering the many benefits of organic food, it only makes sense for Denmark to push through with its plan. It will benefit its people, the environment, and the economy. It only makes sense for other countries to follow suit to make organic and sustainable living possible for future generations.