It’s not just the food we consume. Using organic oils and plant extracts benefits us and the planet. Take a look at 5 key reasons to switch to organic:
1 It’s better for you and the planet.
Designed to respect nature and to enhance the health of soils, water and air, organic farming is leading the way on sustainability. In fact, if Europe’s farmland all followed organic principles, agricultural emissions could drop by 40-50% by 2050, with plenty to feed the growing population with healthy diets. Organic farmers are encouraged to ‘close the loop' on their farms, making use of what’s to hand and limiting the use of imported resources. Organic farming also usesless energy-intensive manufacturing processes which are better for the environment – helping protect air quality, conserve water and encourage native flora & fauna to thrive with less pollution and healthier soils that nourish the produce we consume.
Reducing pesticides is one of the key reasons that people choose organic. The Pesticides Action Network UK analysing the UK government’s own pesticide residue reporting so that people could understand it and see the trends. The report shows that as much as 46% of what we consume contains residues of one or more pesticides. This figure has increased every year and has almost doubled since 2003 when it was 25%. Residues of 123 different pesticides were found, some of which are linked to serious health problems such as cancer and disruption of the hormone system.
2. No artificial fertilisers.
Organic farming lowers the risk of environmental pollution and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by severely restricting the use of manufactured chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which come from burning fossil fuels. Instead, organic farmers must build fertile soils naturally, using compost and manure (often sourced from their own farm or local herds), and rotate their crops to keep soils healthy. Synthetic nitrogen fertilisers are responsible for an increase in nitrous oxide in the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas which is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The nitrogen fertilisers used in conventional farming can create ‘ocean dead zones’ which deprive life below water of vital oxygen. This can kill fish and other aquatic life. Organic standards ban the use of these manufactured fertilisers, lowering the risk of pollution in rivers, seas and waterways.
3. Healthier soils that store more carbon.
Soil is one of our most important tools in the fight against climate change – there are 2,500 billion tonnes of carbon stored in the world’s soils! That’s more than in the plants, trees and the atmosphere combined. Organic farming creates healthy, living soils by nourishing them with compost, nitrogen-fixing crops, and crop rotations. As a result, organic farmland stores (or ‘sequesters’) more carbon – on average 3.5 tonnes extra for every hectare), and organic soils are around 25% more effective at storing carbon in the long-term. Organic farmers build fertile soils naturally, using compost and manure (often sourced from their own farm or local herds), and rotate their crops to keep soils healthy.
4. Is better for nature and wildlife.
Organic farming joins the dots between our own health and the health of our planet, our animals and our wildlife. Pesticides are named as a key driver of insect and pollinator decline. Three quarters of our food crops depend on pollinators, and without them, we wouldn’t have some of our favourite, and most nutritious foods, like potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, coffee, chocolate! Organic farmers rely on a whole ecosystem to keep pests under control, where animals like beetles and birds feed on pests such as aphids and slugs. If pesticides were substituted for more sustainable farming practices like organic, this could slow or reverse the decline in our insects populations.
41% of Britain’s wildlife species have declined since 1970, and more than 1 in 10 are currently facing extinction. Intensive farming practices, especially pesticide use, have been identified as the main driver of these declines, but organic farming offers an alternative.
Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies. On average, plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms, and there are around 75% more wild bees on organic farms. For every 10% increase in bee-friendly habitats - like that found on organic farms - bee numbers and diversity increases by over a third.
Because organic farmers rely on healthy ecosystems to control pests and protect their soils, they tend to farm in a way that encourages wildlife, like planting trees, ‘beetle banks’ and wildflower margins, and digging ponds around their fields. This means organic farms are more ecologically diverse.
5. Enables more resilient farms.
In the face of changing weather patterns on a warming planet, organic farms are more resilient to the effects of climate change; soils on organic farms store up to twice as much water, helping to protect against flooding, and performing better during drought. What’s more, because organic farms are more diverse, using methods like agroforestry to grow other crops, organic farmers are less dependent on the success of a single crop, offering alternatives in the event of crop failures or volatile markets.
Organic is not just about the food you consume. It’s a way of supporting farming to have a significant impact on the ecology of our plant and ultimately all our lives.
All Wild4men’s products only use organic plant-derived oils, so we’re Vegan as well as Organic!