The word “organic” is so ubiquitous, it’s on the verge of losing its genuine meaning. Considering it has become so popular, the answer to the question of whether it’s a trend is pretty evident. It’s not simply a trend, it’s a phenomenon. So, as we discuss what “organic” actually means and how have we ended up here, let’s answer a much more important question – is organic food more than a trend?
Essentially, organic food is by definition produced without the assistance of chemicals or any synthetic material. As human population grew rapidly and a need for mass-production of food increased, the question of “natural” and “ecological” farming began to emerge, and it hadn’t really swept global population off its feet until the 21st century.
It all begins with farming. By treating the ground and the produce in the old-fashioned and (dare we say) “holistic” way that has been done throughout history is how, we get the organic product at the grocery-store shelf, where the difference between organic and non-organic foods becomes evident. This is a very loose definition, of course, as there are many rules and regulations in place now, especially in the European Union, that have to be followed in order to classify food as organic.
It’s safe to say that the increasing public enthusiasm for organic food is a matter of both lifestyle and business. Many businesses are trying to tackle this emerging market and only in 2014, we have seen an astronomical rise in demand for organic produce worldwide.
The rapid spreading of this phenomenon is very reasonable. Actually, it boils down to the people’s need not to be cheated – when they buy something, they want to feel they can do the purchase at face value, and not buy food that is filled with countless unnamable additives and toxins. What’s more, people will gladly pay a hefty sum for these products.
Even the celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson are promoting a lifestyle that favors organic food. This type of promotion has helped the market significantly.
This is where we face a peculiar problem. Organic products should comprise of ingredients produced by nature and not by man. However, most of the soil that is used for farming has some sort of pollutant within it that is man-made and non-natural.
The same goes for water – an element that makes up 70% of our bodies and which is, along with air, the most crucial element for plant and animal life. Thankfully, we are seeing a rise in the appearance of groundwater engineering businesses that are meant to tackle this problem directly.
Yes and no. On the one hand, hypochondria is a serious disorder that’s afflicting more and more people every year, especially a vicious form of cancerphobia. This is not all that surprising if you consider that we are living in a hectic, fast-paced and anxiety-driven world and we are constantly bombarded with information from all directions. We soak up more information yearly than our grandparents did in their entire life.
The old saying goes – knowledge is a curse – and with advances in medicine, coupled with the serious effects pollution has on people, we have been served a vicious cocktail that blurs the line between paranoia and fact.
The truth is – we are seeing the mass production of foods that led to questionable decisions by big businesses, which in turn, led to the increase in pollution that affects both our food and us. So, it’s safe to say the organic craze wasn’t brought on solely by paranoia, but we can’t deny it as a factor.
We can safely say that organic food is not just a trend. It has emerged in the right time since people are turning to a healthier lifestyle more and more nowadays. Just like rock ’n’ roll, the world has embraced “organic” food as a part of its culture, and even though we’ll probably see the decrease in the craze that surrounds it, it’s here to stay.