You might be wondering what it means by the term “Natural Organic Foods”.
- You might be wondering what it means by the term “Natural Organic Foods”.
- Natural Organic Foods can be broadly categorized into following major groups;
I too was confused when I heard the term for the first time. Like everybody else, all I knew about foods was that all the food or food supplements man consumes are either natural or derived from natural substances through synthesis. That makes all of them “Natural”. So far, man is dependent on plants, animals or minerals for his food or nutrition and all these three sources are natural. Even the highly processed packaged foods or medicines that we consume use any of these three sources as their basic substance. Truly speaking, man never succeeded to grow food all by himself. A true synthetic food is yet to be achieved by man which is man-made from scratches, i.e. no naturally available substance; be it derived from plants, animals or from minerals dug from the earth was ever used in it. So, in that sense, every food around us is natural. Similarly, since almost all food stuffs he consumes contains carbon in one or the other form, they can all be called “Organic” as far as the definition of “Organic” goes in biochemistry.
But that’s not so! In the present scenario of growing dependency on synthetic or chemical fertilizers, pesticides, growth boosters, preservatives and genetic engineering for growing food, a truly “Natural Food” is defined as the food that is grown keeping its natural form or identity intact. That means, it should neither be genetically modified nor should it be processed or synthesized in any stage between cultivation and consumption. That is, it should be consumed in its natural form; basic, unaltered and unprocessed. Similarly, an “Organic Food” is that in which no synthetic or man made substance like synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones, preservatives etc. was ever used, neither in its cultivation nor in any stage of its processing or packaging and it should not be genetically modified either.
So, combined together, that defines “Natural Organic Foods” as the foods that are grown without the interference of man-made substances in them and are made available to the consumers in their natural forms. These foods are good for our environment too, because no chemical or synthetic substances are used in growing them or in their processing. Here I must urge you to support them as far as you can. No doubt that they are a bit costlier than their conventional counterparts, but paying that extra is worth when it comes to the health of yours, your family and health of our environment. Natural Organic Foods must have following qualities;
i. They must be raised on a soil that was rejuvenated or made free from all the residues of synthetic substances init by leaving it fallow for 3 – 5 years without any cultivation, so that it is healed through natural processes.
ii. They must be grown naturally, outside a lab.
iii. No synthetic substances must be used on them ever, like synthetic chemical fertilizers,pesticides, growth boosters, artificial hormones, preservatives, acidity regulators, emulsifiers, stabilizers etc. in any stage.
iv. Only organic fertilizers or pesticides may be used on them.
v. They must be certified by a recognized certifying agency and such a certificate must be attached with them.
The second question that arises after that definition is that whether they look different from those that are available in the market. The answer is a big “No”! They look all the same except that they are grown differently.
Then how to distinguish them from others? Then answer is that for this purpose, you’ll have to depend upon certain certificates issued by certain recognized certifying and regulatory agencies. They alone can tell you whether the food you are buying comes under “Natural Organic Foods” or otherwise.
Here is a list of such agencies:
- USDA National Organic Program (NOP)
- European Organic Regulations (EU 2092/91)
- Export Certificates for Japan (JAS Equivalent)
- Indian National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).
- Quebec Organic Reference Standard (CAAQ)
- Bio Suisse Standards
- IOFAM Basic Standards
Finally, you’ll ask whether all food stuffs that we consume are available in their “Natural Organic” form in the market. The answer is again “No”! This is because Organic farmers concentrate on growing only those stuffs that have good demand and economical value in the market and fetch them good profit. Theoretically, all food stuffs can be grown naturally and organically. But practically, it is not done.
Natural Organic Foods can be broadly categorized into following major groups;
A. Natural Organic Vegetables
B. Natural Organic Fruits
C. Natural Organic Poultry
D. Natural Organic Dairy Products
F. Natural Organic Cereals
G. Natural Organic Seeds & Dry Food
H. Other Natural Organic Foods (Tea, Coffee, etc.)
I have deliberately not included sea foods in the above list because they are hardly organic. You know the quantity of pollutants being drained into seas and oceans every day. Now, let’s have look at each category one by one.
Let’s start with vegetables first. Thousands of vegetables are grown and eaten all over the world, including wild and purely native ones, but not all are cultivated naturally or organically. Here is the list;
3. Beet Root
4. Beans (Green Beans, French Beans, Black Eyed Beans, Runner Beans, Hyacinth Beans, Cluster Beans, Fava Bean, Kidney Beans, Red Kidney Beans, Soya Beans, Adzuki Beans, Lima Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans etc.)
5. Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon
7. Brussels Sprouts
8. Butternut Gourd
11. Capsicum or Bell Pepper
12. Cardoon or Artichoke Thistle or Globe Artichoke
18. Collard Greens or Tree Cabbage
19. Corn (Sweet Corn, Baby Corn etc.)
20. Corn Salad
21. Cress or Water Cress
23. Egg Plant or Aubergine or Brinjal
25. Kohlrabi or Knol Khol
27. Lettuce (Iceberg, Romaine)
28. Okra or Ladies Finger
32. Peas (Green Peas, Split Peas, Garden Peas, Pigeon or Congo Peas etc.)
33. Plantain or Green Banana
35. Pointed Gourd
36. Pumpkin (Hubbard, Atlantic Giant etc.)
38. Radish or Daiken
40. Ridge Gourd
42. Shallots (Small Onions)
43. Snake Gourd
44. Snake Bean
45. Snake Cucumber
47. Squash (Bottle Squash, Pear Squash, Acorn Squash)
48. Sweet Potato
50. Turnip or Rutabaga
51. Winter Gourd or White Gourd or Ash Gourd
That list is obviously not exhaustive. But still, it includes almost all the vegetables that are commonly available in the vegetable markets of Europe, America, Australia and Asia. I am leaving aside Africa because many of the vegetables listed above are grown in cold climate.
B. Natural Organic Fruits:
Well, just like vegetables, there are thousands of fruits consumed worldwide (we don’t even know all the names) and nobody takes the pain of growing all of them naturally or organically, because of obvious reasons. So, let’s just have a look at those which you’ll find in “Natural Organic” form.
15. King Mulberries
26. Sweet Lime
D. Natural Organic Dairy Products:
Natural Organic Dairy products include all milk and milk products obtained from naturally and organically raised cattle and later organically processed and packed.
1. Milk (Buffalo, Cow & Goat)
5. Condensed Milk
6. Milk Chocolates
F. Natural Organic Cereals:
Cereals play a very-very important role in our daily lives because they form the staple food and a major portion of world’s diet consists of cereals. So, it is very important to monitor that whether this food, which forms around 60% – 70% of our daily diet, is organic or not. Naturally, more concentration is given on natural and organic cultivation of cereals than on any other crop and consequently, organic cereals are most easily available in the market. You’ll find almost all of the following cereals in their natural organic form;
3. Maize (Corn)
G. Natural Organic Seeds & Dry Food:
Here are some nuts and seeds that you’ll find grown under natural organic conditions;
1. Cashew Nuts
8. Sunflower Seeds
9. Flax Seeds
10. Pumpkin Seeds
11. Sesame Seeds
H. Other Natural Organic Foods:
Finally, have a look at these food stuffs. These too, you’ll find in their natural organic form;
1. Tea (Green Tea, Golden Tea, White Tea, De-caffeinated Tea etc.)
2. Coffee (Normal & De-caffeinated)
5. Condiments & Spices (Basil, Black Pepper, Chili Pepper, Cilantro, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Mustard, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Turmeric etc.)
This article was an attempt to introduce you to the world of natural organic foods. The scope of this article is not enough to accommodate all the natural organic foods consumed worldwide, and the list is ever increasing as every other day a new item is being added, keeping in view public demand. Books have been written on natural organic food stuffs. This was just to give you an idea.