Sri Praneetha.V & Sahaya Sweetlin, II year of B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.) from Vellore Institute of Technology ,Chennai
Have you ever walked into a supermarket and thought, buying organic food is an expensive yet a healthy choice?! This is something that everybody is affirmative about. Organic food preference has become a conventional lifestyle.
In this pandemic situation growing organic fruits and vegetables is seen as the most sustainable and healthy way of living. The ideology of organic has gone viral in the past few years. Society has been vigorously influenced through various social media platforms by influencers, celebrities, and sometimes by the organic food producing company itself.
The concept of an organic and healthy lifestyle has been warmly received by almost all of the city dwellers, but when we look back a couple of decades ago there was no such discretion of products based on organic or inorganic. The phrase “Organic Farming” itself was coined by Lord Northbourne only in 1940 before which everything was inarguably organic.
Population Explosion is the root cause of these upended sequences of events, this directly led to the introduction of chemical-based farming to fulfil the growing need of the population. The late 1960s saw the rise of the Green Revolution. It was/is seen as a boon to our nation, but no one saw the after-effects of the same. Introduction of chemical-based fertilisers, nutrition supplements, Genetic engineering in plants has given us high yield but the originality and the actual nutrients of the plant have bygone.
Government schemes are in such a manner that gives importance to quantity over quality, schemes must also be built to promote the concept of organic and not only the high yielding modernized plants. The government must take initiative to promote organic fruits and vegetables by providing sufficient incentives and technical support to the organic farmers. Organic produce is extremely overpriced and is only used in homes of the rich, hypothetically if the price of 1 kilogram of normal rice cost Rs.50/- the price of the organic rice would cost Rs.150/-. Conversion of inorganic to organic is beneficial to our country itself we can gradually reduce importing of chemical-based fertilisers and pesticides. This seems like the time to bring back the food at its purest form.[i]
Apart from the fruits, vegetables and grains, meat has become an essential part of our diet. This organic trend has also hit the meat industry especially the poultry farming. There is a great misconception among everyone in the society regarding the country chickens and its eggs. We accept the fact that country chickens are more nutritious than broiler chickens. But the question to be acknowledged is, are country chickens that we get are country chickens? When tracing back to country chicken farming in the past, the chickens were allowed to freely roam around and these chickens grew up by feeding on grains and insects from its natural habitat. But nowadays these country chickens are grown in the same environment as the broiler chickens. A large number of chickens are kept in confined spaces and they are being fed the same food as broiler chickens. So how can we ascertain that country chickens from such an environment are more nutritious than broiler chickens? From where would these country chickens get their nutrition? Nowadays even eggs that we get are faked. The country chicken eggs that are supplied in the market are mostly coloured broiler chicken eggs. People are not aware of this fact and they get these coloured eggs at high prices. Most importantly these eggs are from genetically modified layer hens which are grown for commercial egg production.[ii]
Another pathetic condition of poultry farming is the dosing of the birds with hormones and steroids for its growth and weight gain which makes it harmful for consumption. Consumption of these chicken causes infertility in humans, the numbers of PCOS has been hiked in the past few years due to several reasons and consumption of these chickens being the one.
This organic and natural trend has not only influenced the food industry but also the cosmetic industry. The term "Green cosmetics " refers to organic cosmetics produced from natural ingredients. The word “Green” is merely a marketing strategy to attract customers and to make them believe that the products are purely organic, this is exactly where the producers take advantage of people's thoughts. Nowadays, the words “organic, green, natural” can be seen in many cosmetic products, but have you ever thought of the actual ingredients that are being used in these products? Most of the time only 10 to 20 percent of the ingredients used are pretentiously natural and the rest are nowhere near natural. Many companies mention natural and organic in their products but how far these products are natural is again a question that hasn't been answered in a very long time. These companies deliberately use chemicals that would give short term benefits but results in long term damages. Never be fooled by what you see on the outside.[iii]
Organic was supposed to be a culture. We hyped it as a trend and as a result we bought to yourself a paid destruction. Have your ever thought of a poor farmer who genuinely sells his organic produce we used to bargain with? Why would someone literate like us turn a blind eye and buy this overpriced so-called organic produces? Think wisely before you buy another thing which is labelled “100% Organic”.