Consumers are realizing that the industrial food system that is currently in place is flawed and cannot be relied on for any longer, as they have grown more health conscious and environmentally aware, which leads to great opportunities for the local and organic food industry according to researchers Field and Bell. The organic food industry is the largest growing market worldwide according to the Organic Trade Association.
This type of food heavily relies on organic farming, which uses green manure, compost, organic pesticides and biological pest control that helps replenish soil and protect important resources such as water and air from harmful substances. In contrast, conventional farming uses synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which can contaminate soil and water with chemicals. Pesticides are defined as any material (natural, organic or synthetic) used to control, prevent, kill, suppress or repel pests according to the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources from the University of California.
According to Crop Life International up to 80% of the world’s potential crop production would be lost annually if existing pesticide uses were abandoned. Pesticides help in:
Removing unwanted insects and weed – In this process, the food production is increased and as well the costs for the products is decreased.
Preventing plant diseases – It allows the production of high-quality produce.
Acute effects- injuries or illnesses that appear immediately after exposure. These effects are reversible if appropriate medical care is given right away;
Delayed effects- illnesses or injuries that do not appear immediately, which includes immune system disorders, asthma, breast cancer, lymphoma, leukemia and cancer. Over 160 synthetic pesticides are listed to be possible carcinogens and many of them are still in use.
Technical support on integrated pest management, nutrient management plans and controls based cultural knowledge;
Control the application of best production practices in the farms to nurture the soil and avoid the destruction the environment;
Controlling the quality of compost and plants.