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Organic Living in Jakarta - Benefits of Organic Living
Last modified: 2010-02-14 18:45:20

Benefits of Organic Living - What is organic?

Organic usually refers to all "naturally produced" foods or the product of organic farming. Organic food differs from conventionally produced food in the way it is grown, handled, and processed.

Organic usually refers to the raising of farm produce (fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products) without the use of chemical or other synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, (synthetic or sewer-sludge); livestock raised with the use of growth hormones, or antibiotics; food processed without ionizing radiation or food additives; nor can genetically modified seed be utilized.

A larger part of organic agriculture involves the health of the soil and the ecosystem in which crops and livestock are raised. Organic practices recognize that a healthy and live soil and ecosystem benefit crops. Natural, undisturbed soil is alive with micro biotic organisms which exist in harmony together with the native plant life and the inorganic minerals that provide the soil's substrate. Use of pesticides and other chemical treatments to plants disturb this natural balance in many ways.

The term "certified organic" is a legal term and means something quite different than organic as it is very difficult and expensive to have your products certified. Often in the West producers actually are selling organic foods, but can't make that claim because they haven't been certified.

The terms "natural" and organic are not interchangeable. Other truthful claims, such as free-range, hormone-free, and natural, can appear on food labels. However, don't confuse these terms with "organic."

Why choose organic?

We have listed a few of the more commonly held reasons for "going organic" here:

  1. Organic food is not treated with any chemicals during the planting and growth of the item. Therefore, if you eat organic foods, you are not exposed to what could be a toxic cocktail of pesticides and fertilizers.
  2. Fresh organic produce has more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than farmed produce. Studies show that organic food contains between 50 and 100% more minerals and 25% more fiber.
  3. Choosing organic foods is the only way you can avoid eating genetically modified food.
  4. Choosing organic dairy or meat products ensures that the antibiotics, growth promoting drugs, anti-parasite drugs and many other medicines fed to the animals will not be passed on into your food.
  5. Organic produce often tastes so much better than farm produced vegetables and fruit. It's full of flavour!
  6. Organic farmers often protect wildlife in their areas by not using harmful pesticides or herbicides and look for ways to protect their crops without harming wildlife and the environment.
  7. Conventional farming can damage workers' health as they are exposed to the toxins in the pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers.

Sustainably Grown Foods and the Environment

In addition to organic farming methods, sustainable agriculture is becoming more important around the world as we deplete the nutrients in over-farmed areas, endangering the ability of the soil to grow foodstuffs.

Sustainable agriculture refers to the ability of a farm to produce perpetually. An important factor is the effects of farming practices utilized on soil properties and processes essential for crop productivity. Practices that can cause damage to soil include excessive tillage leading to erosion and irrigation without good drainage leading to accumulation of salt in the soil.

A number of development and aid projects in Indonesia are working with local farmers to develop more sustainable methods of growing produce, to ensure that future generations will also be able to live off the land. These methods include natural replenishment of soil to avoid nutrient depletion. Just a few examples are :

  • recycling crop waste and livestock or human manure
  • growing legume crops and forages such as, peanuts that form symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia,

All of these efforts have one goal, to care for the earth by conserving the soil and water so that we can sustain and ensure the environment quality and therefore the health and well being of future generations on the earth.

Specialty health food stores can be found in larger cities in Indonesia, catering mostly to an expatriate population and the increasingly aware educated Indonesian that knows the need for a healthier diet and better choices. Ask within the community to see if people are aware of a health food/organic/natural food store where you live.

Try an organic restaurant and see how great organic food can taste! Ask the staff about the health benefits of the various dishes ... and start to incorporate those new products/dishes into your daily life.

Once you embrace the concept of "organic", you'll find that there are many areas of your life where changes to your lifestyle can improve your daily life. Organic products are not limited to food, but also include organically grown natural fibers used in clothing, nutritional supplements, personal hygiene products, household cleaning products, garden chemicals, and furniture. For each of these. There is an organic option.

Making the change to organic living can be one of the most satisfying things you will ever do. Your health will improve, your energy levels will improve, your body functions will improve and you will look and feel better. There is no time like the present to begin!

read more http://www.expat.or.id/info/organicliving.html

Keywords: why, Jakarta, expat, sustainable, health, restaurant
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