|"Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm."
|Some answers to your questions
- How is organic farming / processing better for the environment?
Organic farming, by definition, does not use environmentally harmful chemicals that may contaminate rain and groundwater. Organic farming also replenishes and maintains healthy, fertile topsoil with rich biological matter, which does not erode into waterways. Additionally, unusual varieties of crops and livestock are more likely to be raised organically, which helps to keep the gene pool for food products diversified.
- What are the most popular organic products?
According to researchers at The Hartman Group, the most frequently purchased organic products are vegetables (70% of organic buyers have purchased in last three months), followed by fruit (68%) and cereal/grains (61%). New purchasers of organic products usually start by putting produce, dairy items and baby food in their cart. Consumers who buy organic products cite health/nutrition, taste and food safety as the top motivators for their purchase.
- What is unique about organic produce?
The availability of organic produce tends to indicate that a particular fruit or vegetable is at its height of seasonality. Organic growers cannot force ripen produce, so when consumers see those items at the store or market, they know the product is at its culinary peak. A good example is oranges. When organic oranges are available, they have been naturally ripened and will represent an immediate quality difference over conventional oranges that have been forced to ripen.
- What are good products for consumers to begin trying as organic?
Consumers wishing to experiment with organic produce should start with basic commodity items, such as Rice, flours, dals, edible oil, fruits & vegetables, breads etc. which are locally made and where the, consumers will notice the least price differences versus conventional produce; whereas, exotic or specialty produce will command a higher premium if it is difficult to grow organically.
- What does "organic" mean?
Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and utilizes management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.
- What are the standards that define "certified organic"?
When a grower or processor is "certified organic," a International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Agricultural Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) accredited public or private organization has verified that the business meets or exceeds the standards set forth in the Indian (National standards for Organic Programme) / USA (National Organic Programme)/ European Organic Rules (Euro 2092/91). This means the farms and facilities have been inspected by the certifying agency and random samples of products, soil and water have been taken and tested. This also means having elaborate Internal control systems and documentation.
- What types of foods are available as organic?
Most consumers think of fruits and vegetables when they think of organic products, but there are many other organic foods, including dals, flours, edible oils, tea / coffee, jaggery, cereals, jams, spreads, sauces, soups, chocolate, cookies, meat, poultry, dairy and even wine.
- What are the organic standards for raising meat, poultry and dairy?
Organic livestock standards prohibit the use of synthetic growth hormones such as rBGH and the routine use of antibiotics. Additionally, all animals must be raised in natural living conditions appropriate for their species. The animals are fed only organic feed, and the processing for all meat, poultry and dairy products must meet organic standards as well.
- What is the difference between "organic" and "natural"?
"Natural" often is misrepresented in product labeling to imply "healthful," but "natural" only means that the product has undergone minimal processing. Unlike products that are certified organic, natural products have no certification or inspection system. Also, "natural" does not necessarily relate to growing methods or the use of preservatives.
- Do organic farmers ever use pesticides?
Organic farmers' primary strategy is "prevention." By building healthy soils, healthy plants are better able to resist disease and insects. When pest populations get out of balance, growers will try various options like insect predators, mating disruption, traps and barriers. If these fail, the certifier may grant permission to apply botanicals from the list of a approved Substances under restricted conditions. Botanicals are derived from plants and are broken down quickly by oxygen and sunlight.
- Do organic foods taste better?
We think so, and hundreds of gourmet chefs across the world agree. It's common sense�well balanced soils grow strong, healthy plants that taste great.
- What is the difference between organic and under conversion (transitional) products?
Transitional products have been grown under conditions that meet organic growing standards but lack either the required length of time for the land to be free of chemical usage (36 months) or the process for proper certification has not yet been completed. The commitment to switching from conventional farming to organic methods is a difficult one. For example, production is often limited until the soil can rebuild the organic matter needed to compensate for the lack of synthetic fertilizers. While not allowed to label their products as organic, labeling as "transitional" allows consumers to support farmers who are moving toward organic certification.
- Do organic foods generally cost more than conventional foods?
Although many organic products do cost more, the price of organic foods is increasingly competitive as supply and demand continue to rise. Larger retailers, like24 Lettered Mantra, are emerging with the capacity to buy and sell organic products at higher volumes, which leads to lower prices for organic food products. However, it is important to remember that prices for organic products reflect many of the same costs as conventional items in terms of growing, harvesting, transportation, and storage, but organic products must meet stricter regulations governing all of these steps. Therefore, the process is often more labor and management intensive. Organic farmers have an added cost of compliance with organic certification standards and government programs do not subsidize organic farming.
- Are all of 24 Letter Mantra products organic?
Most of the products are Organic. However every product carried in 24 Letter Mantra stores are natural and meet strict quality standards, meaning that they are free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives; however, they are not all certified organic. Please check our labeling policy on this website. 24 Letter Mantra offers its customers an unprecedented array of choices from conventional to certified organic, and supports farmers and food artisans from around the country. The company does have a commitment to featuring organic choices whenever possible, as it believes the growing methods are more sustainable for people and the planet.
- How large is the organic foods industry?
According to IFOAM estimates the world market is about US$ 40 billion and growing at more than 13 % per annum. Organic Foods have become quite popular in North America, Europe and Japan and most supermarkets have a large �Organic only� section. The Indian market is just being opened up with initiatives of Retailers like 24 Letter Mantra. The main constraints in India so far have been lack of adequate range of products and availability. 24 Letter Mantra has been able to break this barrier and we offer a wide range of products to make a complete Organic meal.
- Where can I find more information about organic foods?
A number of resources exist for those who want to obtain more information about organic food products, including
- What are the benefits of Organic food?
The benefits from Organic food are:
- OUR TOMORROW OUR CHILDREN
Children are four times more susceptible than adults to cancer causing pesticides in food. Give them a wholesome life with organic.
- NUTRITIOUS & TASTES GREAT
It is common sense that well-balanced soil grows strong and healthy crops that are nutritious and taste great.
- REDUCE HEALTH RISKS
Research has linked many approved pesticides to cancer and other diseases. And organic agriculture is the only way to keep them from getting into our body thus reducing health risks.
- STRINGENT STANDARDS
Our products are organically certified, which means it comes with an assurance that the products have been manufactured without use of toxins and chemicals and are more superior than other products. They also prohibhit the use of GMO�s and antibiotics.
- NO CHEMICALS IN YOUR DAILY DIET
Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill living organisms and are harmful for humans. Organic farming makes sure you have no chemicals in your daily diet.
- PROTECT THE EARTH
We lose billions of tons of topsoil due to conventional agricultural practices. Organic farming brings back the health of the soil.
- PREVENT WATER CONTAMINATION
Pesticides and chemo-synthetic fertilizers used in conventional farming is estimated to pollute the primary sources of drinking water to 60-70% of the country's population. Organic farming prevents water contamination.
- PRESERVE DIVERSITY
Loss of large variety of species (biodiversity) is a result of one crop being produced on the same soil year after year. Organic farming counteracts the loss.
- HELP THE SMALL FARMERS
Organic farming can be a lifeline for small farmers because it offers an alternative market where he can get a fair price.
- STAY IN HARMONY WITH NATURE
Stay in harmony with nature. Organic practices respect the need for healthy eco-system; including forage crops, retaining fence- rows, wetlands and other natural areas, encourages wild life.