Understand What’s Organic food :
In simple words, #Organic means #food grown #naturally under hygienic conditions and without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The ill effects of over use of chemicals by farmers to either protect their crops or to increase the yield over last 3-4 decades across India are well known. These were elaborately shown in the famous episode of TV show #Satya Mev Jayte hosted by Aamir Khan in 2012. Many #mothers today are aware and want to ensure healthy and pure food for their family and are opting more and more for organic food. The good part is that we are seeing more and more options being available to them in the Metro cities. The Big Question they face is that how to ensure the food they are buying at premium price is organic, healthy and better than the other food.
Most of the Organic food sellers are trying hard to provide you the healthier and safer options. However, it’s best in your own interest to be aware of few simple things while buying organic food items. Here are few listed below:
- Try to know the source from the vendor. Some general information about the origin will help you assess the authenticity. The #freshfood is generally available according to climatic conditions of the area of production and any mismatch should be a cause of concern.
- If some items are available in large quantities and available for a longer period, you need to be alert. Most of the organic food items are available in limited quantity and during season only unless stored in cold storage.
- Some of the vegetables like Capsicum (Coloured and Green) , Bitter Gourd, Cucumber, Brinjal etc attract pests despite best efforts. If your veggies are always free from these than be alert. Please note that most of the times, you can cut the bug infected part and use the rest of it.
- It’s an agreed and legal practice to polish food items. However, Organic food should not be polished or subjected to any kind of hormones for growth, colour or size enhancements. If you find food items very attractive in colour, shape and size with spotless clarity and shine, again you need to be alert. Check for wax or oily surface and reject if found so.
- There should be a clearcut, observable differentiation in taste and flavour in your organic food. You can’t miss it.
- In addition to taste, you will also observe that your requirements of some of the pure organic food is reduced eg. Turmeric & Chilli powder, dry pulses like Rajma, Urad , Unpolished Rice etc are consumed in lesser quantity compared to their inorganic counterparts.
- Some #farmers believe that using cow’s dung as manure and urine based solutions for pest control makes their farm produce as Organic. This kind of food is definitely better than chemically treated ordinarily available food. However, there is one more condition of hygienic environment. Water and air of the area bring pollutants to farm. Farming near Industrial waste carrying water source (like Yamuna banks in the Delhi and surrounding regions ) cannot be classified as Organic even with the best of farmers efforts unless there is highly controlled conditions to treat them.
- Try to get pics of farms or plan farm visit once in a while. This will not only instill your confidence in the vendor but at the same time can help you connect with the roots and the farmers. Include these trips as part of your holidays. The family will love it and farmers will get encouragement too.
- Some of the processed items like juices may use ingredients like sugar, oil, additives and preservatives which may not be pure organic. As long as this is declared to you, it should be ok if the fruit juice is from good source and processed under hygienic conditions.
- Feedback is an important process to improve the quality of goods and services of your vendors. See if your vendor is listening to and responding to your input.