COVID-19 has made it difficult for some families to eat all organic. The grocery shortages experienced in the winter and spring of 2020 have mostly been solved, but it may still be difficult for some families to access fresh, organic produce. Eating organic is more important than ever since it helps to strengthen the body and assists the immune system. As the demand for organic food has increased, supply issues have become evident.
Deven Patel, a vegan and organic food expert, explains how eating organic can benefit you. He also explores how COVID-19 has had an impact on local food markets and how you can get to know your farmer in order to receive the best organic produce.
Benefits of Eating Organic Food
There are many benefits to including organic food in your diet. Organic foods contain fewer pesticides. Fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides are often used on conventional crops, and residue remains on the food we eat.
Organic food is fresher because it does not contain preservatives. Sometimes this means that organic food does not last as long on the shelf as conventional food, but this is worth it when you consider the health benefits.
Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farmers work to reduce pollution, reduce soil erosion, conserve water, increase the fertility of the soil, and use less energy. When farmers use fewer pesticides, they have less of an impact on the local birds and animals living in the area.
Organic food is also higher in many nutrients than processed or conventional food. When plants are raised carefully, they produce better food.
Increased Demand for Organic Food
Organic food has experienced a boom during the pandemic. The demand has risen higher than some farms can keep up with. While food imported from other parts of the world experienced supply disruptions due to transportation issues, food grown locally was always fresh and available. In many countries, the need for organic food has greatly expanded during the pandemic.
In some cases, organic farms had difficulties coping with the extra demand for their produce. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships quickly sold out for 2020 since people were cooking more at home and avoiding going out to restaurants. Overall, people were eating a higher-quality diet than they were before the pandemic, but this helped to drive up the price of organic food.
Deven Patel cautions that it is possible that supply issues will return in the winter of 2021 because the pandemic is predicted to spike again. It may be a good idea to buy organic produce now and can or preserve it for your own personal use. Home canning and preserving can be a fun family activity, and it can give you peace of mind year-round knowing that you are eating organic.
Get to Know Your Local Farmer
No matter what you want to eat, it is always healthier and tastes better when it is grown locally. Local produce is picked when it is ripe, rather than being gassed after picking while it is still unripe. This means that flavor and nutrition are greatly improved.
With climate change a hot topic in the news, many environmentally-conscious families are interested in doing everything they can to protect our planet. Local produce is also transported far less than produce grown many states away. This cuts down on the carbon footprint of the food our families eat.
In many parts of the country, local food is only available in the summertime, but people who live in more temperate regions should be able to find it year-round. Getting to know your local farmer is key when it comes to discovering what is ripe and fresh each season. You may be surprised to learn how many foods are locally grown in your area.
Visit your local farm stand and ask about their growing practices. It is likely that some local farmers use organic practices but cannot afford to have their farms certified as organic by the major trade organizations. Get to know how they treat their plants and animals. It is possible that you will be satisfied with their products even if they are not certified organic.
Eating Organic and Local
When you get to know your local farmer, you will benefit from their expertise in growing organic food. For children, it is educational to see where their food comes from and how much effort goes into every piece of produce. Understanding how food is produced is important for everyone.
The benefits of eating organic are many, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Encourage your friends and family members to buy organic whenever possible to protect the environment and their health. Deven Patel and his family are excellent examples that consumers should follow.