Welcome to my cooking blog. My name is Michelle Jenkins. Let me start by admitting that these are NOT gourmet meals, they are NOT fine dining, but they are mine. I have cooked all of these recipes and taken my own photos. They are fairly simple recipes, most of them are quick to prepare and cook and all of them are delicious. I only post my successes! If something doesn't work out, I don't post it. I hope you enjoy this blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Nutrition Basics: Organic Farming

What is Organic?

Organic is a way of growing food products in greater harmony with nature, without using synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics or growth hormones.

The organic farming boom

Organic farming is booming and has been one of the economy's best performing industries over the past five years. Global demand for organic products is rising with ongoing high levels of health consciousness. Australia has the largest area of organic farmland in the world, at an estimated 11.0 million hectares. The majority of this land comprises large rangelands for organic cattle farming.

Becoming an organic farmer is not simple however. The barriers to enter the organic farming industry are moderate, mainly due to the lengthy certification process and conversion costs. Some farmers are deterred by the difficulty and potentially lower income involved in the conversion process to organic farming. Full organic certification requires a farmer to produce organically in accordance with all requirements of the organic standard for at least three years. (Source: Organic Farming in Australia). However barriers are expected to decline as organic farming becomes more popular and organic produce becomes more sought after.

What is 'Certified Organic'?

Certified Organic products must be grown and processed according to the AUS-QUAL certified National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce.

Organic Foods Are:

  • Regulated by strict standards and yearly inspections
  • Processed without synthetic colours, flavours, preservatives and other common additives
  • In greater harmony with nature using methods to protect soil, water and air quality
  • Safer for farmers to grow
 For information about Organic Certification see Better Health Victoria.

What is organically grown in Australia?

Types of organic produce available in Australia include fruit and vegetables, dried legumes, grains, meat and meat products, dairy foods, eggs, honey and some processed foods. Animals raised using organic methods are treated humanely and with respect. For example, chickens are free range and not kept in cages, and cows are not kept in feed lots. Organic farming is also concerned with protecting the environment and working in harmony with existing ecosystems, including conserving water, soil and energy, and using renewable resources and natural farming cycles.

Benefits of eating organic food

Several studies have compared the nutritional content of organic and conventionally grown plants, and most have shown no significant differences in key vitamin and mineral content. However, although the differences are small, research has shown that some organic food has:

Other benefits include
  • The animals are raised in a pasture as nature intended and feed on grass and hay
  • Animal feed contains no additional growth hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products
  • Under Organic Certification the use of antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, growth promotants and genetically modified organisms are banned so there is no possibility of human consumption
  • All products are produced without gluten and preservatives which is perfect for people with gluten intolerances and those cutting out preservatives, additives and chemicals
  • Organic meat contains full minerals, nutrients and omega-3 fatty acid profile of typical green pasture raised animals
  • No genetically modified (GM) components
  • No exposure to irradiation
  • Organic farmers minimise damage to the environment by using physical weed control, and animal and green manure

Next blog post… Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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