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Most fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients that are good for your body and mind. However, commercial demands and competition in the market often make farmers use fertilizers and pesticides in order to increase their yield. According to nutritionist Naini Setalvad, 'Today growth hormones are injected in fruits, vegetables, pulses, poultry and meat to make them larger and plumper. Humans are consuming these products thereby eating these chemicals too. Research has documented and proven that these hormones and chemicals are what are causing the humungous (obesity) sizes in people today. The chemicals and the preservatives are the cause of psychological disorders, depression, mood swings, hyper activity and irritability that have now become a common phenomenon. Infertility in men, problems in conceiving, early puberty among children as young as eight is another by product of consuming such foods.'
It is difficult, if not impossible for us to stand up and fight against such unhealthy practices adopted by farmers. But, that doesn't mean we have to continue eating foods laced with pesticides. Organic farming is taking the country by storm and more and more people are choosing to eat organically grown foods. Let's learn more about the process of organic farming and why it is healthier than conventional food.
How is organic farming done?
Simply put, organic farming is done without using fertilizers and pesticides. Instead, alternative farming practices like crop rotation, use of green and animal manure, etc. are employed. Read more about how pesticides are harmful for you.
Why is organic food healthier than normally produced food?
According to nutritionist Naini Setalvad, 'An organic diet is not just about nutrition, it is the Art of Eating it reflects your attitude to life and to the world, because good food sustains life-bad food kills. For healthy growth, we need PURE food. Organic food is safe, pure, more nutritious, environment friendly, protects against diseases and maintains peace of mind. A pure diet fosters purity of mind, body and soul. Be it the Bible, Quaran or the Bhagvad Gita, the first advice is 'to keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom and keep our mind strong and clear'.
In terms of nutrition too, organic food is better. 'Organic food really has more nutrients, vitamins and mineral, including vitamin C, iron, and magnesium and phosphorous than conventional produced food. This is because in organic farming, great emphasis is on nourishing the soil which in turn gives healthy plants. Healthy plants give produce that is packed full of all the vitamins and minerals which give flavor and goodness to our food. The time allowed for the crops to grow by not using chemical fertilizers is the final key elements making it possible for organic crops to have much higher nutrition levels.', adds nutritionist Naini Setalvad. Read more to understand all you need to know about healthy eating.
Where can you get organic food in India?
Fabindia is one chain from where you can buy some organic food. They have several stores across the country and you can even order stuff online. Organic India is another brand which sells organic produce. Also, in metros local farmers have these markets on weekends where organic food can be found. Unfortunately, these products are more expensive than normally grown food. (A litre of ghee usually costs around Rs. 400, but if you buy it from organic stores it costs around Rs. 900) However, considering the health benefits this is a small price to pay.
With rising awareness about organic farming a lot of shops have started to sell organic food across some of the major cities in the country. You can find information and addresses of some of these stores here.
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