The growing global demand for organic food has increased rapidly with numbers of up to $63 billion in 2012, with a rate of increase in organic farmland at 8.9% per year. In 2018, about 1.5 percent of total global farmland was farmed organically.
This demand in organic food has also grown in popularity in Asia, especially in Singapore, where consumers are becoming more conscious of where and how their food is farmed.
So how is organic food actually grown?
Organic Farming for Organic Food
Organic farming uses natural sources of nutrients for agriculture instead of synthetic pesticides and chemicals. These include compost, manure, crop residues and other natural methods of crop and weed control.
With this, the main objectives are to increase diversity and the right soil cultivation, build up good soil structure and nutrients, and control pests, diseases and weeds.
Types of Organic Farming
There are two types of organic farming - pure organic farming and integrated organic farming. While pure organic farming completely avoids the use of synthetic pesticides, integrated organic farming uses a combination of nutrient management and pest management to prevent weeds and disease from developing.
Of course, there are a few different techniques used in organic farming, such as: crop rotation, biological pest control, green manure and compost.
Crop rotation is done by growing different types of crops in the same area across different growing seasons. It is used to keep soil healthy by not relying on the same set of nutrients in the soil and helps to develop resistance to pests and weeds.
Biological pest control uses natural predators or other living organisms and active human management to control pests, for example by introducing the natural enemy of pests to control the spread of the pests.
Green manure uses dead crops or plants that have already been uprooted and turning them into fertilizer for the remaining crops. Likewise, composting materials can also be used as a natural fertilizer for the farms.
Effects of Organic Farming
Compared to conventional farming methods, organic farming naturally has both pros and cons to it.
Profitability and Costs
Organic farming is actually shown to be more profitable than conventional farming, due to a higher price premium over non-organic food and reduced use of synthetic fertilizer. Organic food is often sold at a higher markup at supermarkets, allowing farmers to have the incentive to convert over to an organic farming setup.
As for yields itself, productivity for organic farming is typically lower than conventional farming, with around 80-90% of the yields of conventional agriculture. Some types of weed management and access to manure and other materials can help increase the crop productivity for organic farming.
Organic farming can help to reduce pollution and soil erosion, conserve water and use less energy overall. Due to the lack of use of pesticides, this can also be good for the animals and other people who live near to the farms.
Buying Organic Food in Singapore
If you really want to eat organic food in Singapore, you can find aisles of fresh and packaged produce in supermarkets, direct online retailers and specialist grocery stores. Organic food is now widely available in almost every single supermarket and mostly come from local, Malaysian or Australian sources.
Now you can also purchase with convenience from Nature’s Glory online ecommerce store, where we sell organically certified fresh produce, food-based supplements, dried groceries, condiments, tea, manuka honey and much much more.
Moreover, because we are one of the trusted organic food stores in Singapore, our produce is also organically certified by NASAA - National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia - to Australian and international standards.
In addition to international certifications, we also uphold our own 100% Organic Assurance for our customers, where we do stringent in-house checks to verify that our organic foods are authentic and safe to eat.
Our NASAA audited food warehouses and cold trucks are never fumigated to keep our food safe. We also do not sell any foods that are irradiated with microwave or high energy pulses to pasteurize and extend the shelf life. Furthermore, we also test every batch of products imported from Japan and the USA to ensure that they are not contaminated by radiation before they are put for sale.
Due to our own self verifications and checks, we have grown to become known as one of Singapore’s trusted suppliers for organic food since 1991 and we hope to keep serving future consumers who are taking back control of their health through the food they eat.