What is natural food?
This refers to food that comes from organic farming, is healthy, wholesome and meets ethical criteria. But what exactly does that mean? For example:
Natural food is …
- … ecological
Naturally delicious foods come from organic farming. Organic farmers promote and maintain the natural cycle that ultimately leads from healthy and active soil to robust plants and animals to healthy and wholesome food. The courtyard is seen here as a unit, comparable to a living organism.
Alternative farmers owe their soil fertility primarily to nature. Chemical-synthetic fertilizers or pesticides have lost nothing. Only plants that match the climate and the respective soil conditions are grown. Sensible crop rotation, green and organic fertilization, for example from composted manure, promote fertility. Pests and diseases are repelled mechanically (shaking off, reading, chopping, weeding) or biologically through the use of beneficial insects or harmless pesticides.
Conclusion: Organic farming is environmentally friendly. It protects drinking water, soil and the climate, avoids chemical residues in soil and food and conserves raw material reserves.
The eco bonus: On many organic farms you can find hedges and nesting places for animals that have long since disappeared on conventional farms.
- … ethical
Organic farming takes all living things into account and stands for animal welfare. Here, too, the overriding principle is to think and act in cycles. Our own agriculture produces fodder for humans and cattle, in return the animals provide manure and liquid manure as fertilizer for the plants. Only as many animals live on the farm as can be fed and generously accommodated there.
All animals receive species-appropriate feed. There are dried clover, alfalfa and grass for the cows in winter, and in summer they live and eat on the pasture. The stables have nothing in common with the tight boxes of factory farming. Slatted floors, on which the animals can hardly stand or lie, do not belong on the organic farm. But therefor bright, well-ventilated accommodations. Pigs, cows and chickens live here (almost) according to their own style. This means that they are less susceptible to disease. “Prevention” and therapy from the medical-chemical laboratories of the meat industry are thus superfluous. Of course, growth hormones or regulators as well as genetically manipulated genetic material are taboo in breeding.
But ethical also means: the farmer should obtain reasonable prices for his products. That is a basic requirement for a satisfactory livelihood. Organic trade pays farmers in third world countries fair prices Fair trade, which are above world trade prices. Long-term purchase agreements ensure the farmers, as trading partners, planning security. All of this enables the establishment of an infrastructure, e.g. for schools and medical care. Because pesticides are banned in organic farming, agricultural workers and farmers are no longer exposed to this health hazard. That too is ethical action.
- … controlled biologically
Organic products have come a long way before they land on the shelves of natural food stores or at the weekly market. Strict controls and guidelines from the associations in which most organic farmers are organized accompany them from seed to processing. Which field the carrot comes from and where the cow is at home that provides the milk for the cheese can be quickly traced and is always transparent. Organic foods are the most strictly controlled foods in Germany.
- … creative and alternative
In the 1970s, the small organic shops with their self-made shelves were still viewed with skepticism. Compared to the brand new supermarkets, they looked anachronistic and exotic. Today organic stores are more familiar, and many things have also become more professional. The natural food industry remains unconventional.
Organic farmers rely on tradition when it comes to farming, but they like to break new ground in marketing or rediscover old ones. The vegetable subscription, where fresh vegetables are delivered straight to your home, is now known. The “rent a tree” concept is also smart, in which consumers can lease fruit trees and harvest the fruit. The farmers tend to the trees and orchards around them. (For information on interesting initiatives, please contact:
Foundation for Ecology and Agriculture, Weinstr. Süd 51, 67098 Bad Dürkheim, Tel. 06322-8666, Fax -989701.)
Health food stores also consciously support their individual audience. Whether vegetarians, vegans, macrobiotics, wholefood or sun food – everyone will find the right food here.
- … fair
Organic food means more fairness in world trade – on a national and international level. For the trading partners in the “Third World” this means that they receive relatively high prices for their products, from which they can earn a living. And: There is enough left to set up community, environmental and development projects.
One effect of fair trade that we consumers benefit from is the special quality of the food. If coffee or banana farmers are paid appropriately and are integrated into a stable economic and social network, then we get high-quality goods. You can rely on that.
- … fresh and aromatic
In many cases, the raw materials for natural food come directly from the field, ideally without long transport routes. This avoids environmentally harmful noise and exhaust gases. Numerous health food shops are increasingly trying to get locally produced food. This promotes the farmers in the region, contributes to sustainability (seasonal products, short transport routes) and the food is particularly fresh, which has a positive effect on the nutrient content.
More and more top chefs recognize and taste this. Many of them prefer organic products.
- … healthy
Our health also benefits from the protection of animals and the environment in organic agriculture. The vegetables are significantly less contaminated with nitrate and residues from artificial fertilizers and pesticides than those from conventional cultivation. The content of secondary plant substances is significantly higher than that of conventionally grown fruit and vegetables. For some foods, even more nutritional values were found.
- … full
Wholesome nutrition is both: modern and healthy. It contains a lot of fruit and vegetables, cereals, milk and dairy products, little eggs, meat and fish, sea animals and even less sugar and white flour. High-quality, fresh, varied and, if possible, unprocessed food is the basis of this nutritional theory, which expressly supports organic farming. It combines enjoyment with quality, i.e. fresh, unpolluted vegetables and fruit, with an environmentally friendly and socially just economy.
- … fast
Patties, burgers, sauces, soups, spreads and frozen ready meals from the health food store – they are all quick to prepare and taste (almost) like homemade. Even if eating in a calm and relaxed atmosphere is preferable when things get haywire, natural food with quick and healthy dishes is on hand.
- … well packed
From the beginning, ecological goals were linked to the idea of natural food. This includes environmentally friendly manufacturing processes as well as low transport costs and ecologically compatible packaging. These must be produced in a way that conserves energy and resources and, if possible, reusable. The later disposal should be unproblematic and without toxic residues for the environment.