Before farming, humans were hunters and gatherers and we chased after animals and searched around for fruits and grains in the wild.
After we started farming, around 9,500 BC, we started growing our own grains and fruits, and we tamed animals so we didn’t have to chase after them anymore.
For thousands of years all farmers were organic farmers because we only used natural things to help us keep pests away, get rid of weeds and nourish the soil.
Because of amazing inventions to make things grow faster and stronger (fertilizers), get rid of creepy crawlies like caterpillars that eat our food before we can (pesticides) and remove weeds like stinging nettles (herbicides) humans started being able to make more food for more people, so people had more to eat! And that was good because there were lots more people to feed!
When some farmers started using these man-made fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and changed the way they looked after their farm they stopped being organic farmers.
Man-made fertilizers can damage the soil and rivers, making it harder to grow things in the future and hurting fish in the rivers.
Pesticide can be very bad for the wildlife and sometimes us. Some pesticides have been hurting the bees – bees are very important because they pollinate plants. If some plants don’t get pollinated they will not grow fruits and vegetables,
Organic farmers only use natural things on the land, and they try and find ways of making the land and wildlife work together to help grow their crops and feed their animals. Natural things can be less harmful to wildlife and to the land. But natural isn’t always a good thing. Arsenic, radioactivity and man-eating pythons are all natural.
Organic farmers like using poo, it is a natural fertilizer and they call it manure. Although poo is smellier, it can be much better for the soil than man-made fertilizers, it means giving the soil more food, without as much damage to the soil and rivers.
Some people think organic animals have happier lives as they get to be outside and run around more. They also eat more of their natural foods.
Because organic cows eat more of their natural food – grass, they bum burp more than non-organic cows. All cow bum burps are mainly made of methane, which is a greenhouse gas, which are making the world hotter. This is not a good thing. This is one of the reasons some people think we should all be vegetarian.
Did you know that if we were all vegetarian, we could feed more humans using less land? There would also be less greenhouse gas because there would be less animals bum-burping. But then what would we have for Sunday Dinner? Can people live without bacon?
Bhutan is a country that has promised to be completely organic by 2020. The country makes decisions based on the countries happiness, rather than how much money the country makes.
Farmers are great! If you meet a farmer it’s important to say thank you for making our food. Whether they’re an organic or non-organic farmer, they all work very hard, even outside in the wind and rain and sometimes even snow, to give us all the lovely food. Hooray for farmers!
Did you see any difference in your children when you changed to feeding them organic food? Did they say it tasted better?
Coming up Tomorrow …… What it Means to be Certified by The Soil Association – On the face of it, it might not seem that important. Just a reference to ‘Organic’ on the label might be enough for you, but certification does not come easy, so perhaps you should consider why the label you are looking at doesn’t have the certified logo displayed on it!
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