What is organic food?

Organic farming is a method of farming where no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers are sprayed on the soil or plants. The farms that are "certified organic", have been recognized by an organic certification body as having been chemical free for at least three years.  Organic farmers work hard to create the soil environment that will provide the pH etc. necessary for the health of the particular crop through the organic matter and humus used.  Humus, which is not only vital to holding water in the soil, is also the preferred food for the millions microorganisms, fungi and earthworms found in organic soil that break down the organic matter into a nutritious form usable to the plants.  Mother Nature’s closed organic cycle of dead plants, animals and animal manure becoming organic matter that feeds the microorganisms, fungi and bacteria that then feed the growing plants, results in vibrantly healthy plants that are disease and pest resistant, and having many more vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in them, and sans the toxins from the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers. Therefore organic farming is nonpolluting and environmentally sustainable.  Even though organic food is not toxic, it should be washed thoroughly to remove any dirt and manure before being consumed.

Conventional farming is a method by which industrial pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are sprayed on the plants and the soil, killing not only the pests, but also those vital fungi and microorganisms in the soil that are critical to plant nutrition and therefore our nutrition. Chemical fertilizers are also sprayed in order to try and feed the plants, but synthetic fertilizers put on dead soil do not duplicate the delicate balance necessary to create a healthy plant, as the valuable humus, fungi and microorganisms are missing in the soil.  As the plants are less healthy, they attract more pests, which results in more pesticide use.  The lack of humus in the soil results in more soil erosion and a greater need for watering, which in turn, contaminates groundwater with pesticide run-off damaging not only drinking water and but also fisheries.  These chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are poisons that not only coat the plant, but also are absorbed through the roots of the plant and become a part of the plant tissue.  So when we eat conventional vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, we are making a choice that  has fewer nutrients, and instead packs a small dose of poison.  Even though our liver is very good at detoxifying us, it can get rather overwhelmed when it is asked to do this with every meal.  And when the nutrition in the food isn’t adequate to replace vitally healthy liver cells, over time things may break down.

I am hoping that it is becoming obvious that using less nutritious, toxic food to replace our cells each day is not a recipe for health and wellness. To be healthy and vital, we need the best quality raw materials we can find, so shop organic and watch your body detoxify! To learn more about how our food production impacts our health and the health of the planet, listen to the You Are What You Eat CD Series.

Chek, Paul; You Are What You Eat CD Series Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2002. 
Chek, Paul; Under the Veil of Deception, A “Down to Earth” Look at Organics San Diego, CA, 2002.
Tompkins, Peter and Bird, Christopher; Secrets of the Soil, New York, NY, Harper & Row, 1998
Tompkins, Peter and Bird, Christopher; The Secret Life of Plants, New York, NY, Harper & Row, 1973.


  1. Wisdom of Healing » Blog Archive » Carnival of Healing #62 - “Wintertime Health and Wellness” said,

    December 2, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

    […] I love to find other excellent natural health writers that really tell it like it is! The real truth about natural health is hard to find, but Vreni Gurd presents a convincing argument for ditching the processed foods and nurturing the body with the vital nutrients found in organic foods in: Eat – What is organic food? posted at this excellent site: wellness tips. There are lots of gems here! […]

  2. Michelle said,

    December 3, 2006 @ 12:02 pm

    This is good info. I’ve been researching the nutrient value of food since seeing a comment that the nutrient values have dropped 6% to 50% percent over the last few decades (depending on the nutrient…some have dropped more dramatically than others). So far, I have found this to be true.

    Part of the reason for this seems to be because the fertilizers make the vegetables grow too fast, and they do not have the time to develop property. They absorb a lot of water, hence the “bigger, better” product….they’re mostly water.

    So, not only are they toxic, they have much less nutrititonal value. As far as “you are what you eat,” I believe that in some cases, people eat more because the body craves nutrients it isn’t getting, but compared to twenty years ago, people end up consuming twice the calories to try get the same nutrient value.

    I love the book _The Secret Life of Plants_! 🙂

  3. Jeremy said,

    December 2, 2008 @ 5:09 pm

    Nice article on organic foods. Currently I have been growing my own vegetables and they are very healthy. Presently I have been growing inside due to the wheather and I have been happy with my crops. Currently I am starting up a store that sells organic nutrients and grow lights. Hopefully this link will help you set up your own grow room http://www.grownhydro.com to produce healthy foods.

    Please eat healthy and keep healthy.

    Thank you again

    Jeremy Cox

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