In recent times, there has been a growing trend towards all things organic. If something is ‘organic’ it means it has been produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals. So ‘organic’ refers to things that are natural or related to nature. A sharply growing urban population base, rising health concerns, growing consumer spend on food products and deterioration of food quality are some of the reasons for this growth. As per the UK Soil Association, across the world the top reasons why people choose organic food were healthy eating (55%), avoiding chemical residues (53%), care for the environment and nature (44%), taste of organic food (35%), and animal welfare (31%). Fuelled by these trends research has also been trying to uncover tangible connections between organic food and health.
A recent UK study claims organic food contains more antioxidant compounds connected to better health than regular food. It also naturally contains lower levels of toxic pesticides and metals. As per The Guardian, an international research team states that shifting to organic fruits and vegetables can give you the same benefits as adding one or two portions of the recommended ‘five a day.’ By five a day we mean five portions of vitamins and minerals, including foliate, vitamin C, and potassium. These are a substantial source of dietary fibre that can, in turn, contribute to a healthy stomach and prevent a lot of problems like indigestion, obesity, etc.
The research team is spearheaded by Prof. Carlo Leifert at Newcastle University. The team says organic fruits and vegetables may contain as much as 20-70% more good anti-oxidants than regular fruits and vegetables. This is the first time a study shows clear and significant differences between organic food and conventional food. These antioxidants have also been previously linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, neuro-generative diseases, and certain cancers.
The research is in line with recent shifts in the marketplace, including India. More and more people are buying organic food. The Hindu states the organic foods market in India has been growing at a CAGR of 25%. At this rate it will touch 12,000 crores by 2020. The data is as per a report by ASSOCHAM and E&Y. Other interesting facts have been uncovered. India has the highest number of farmers in the world engaged in organic farming. But we account for less than 1% of the worldwide organic market. This means there is plenty of potential for organic food market to grow. Union Agricultre Minster, Radha Mohan Singh, recently said in a national conference that organic farming must be accorded the same urgency today as the Green Revolution was accorded in the early nineties.
This surge in organic farming and eating has had parallel developments in other related areas, one of which is the rise of more organically produced crafts, including paper. Handmade paper is also made without the use of chemicals. It involves not cutting down even a single tree. There is a correlation between segments in the population that endorse organic food and that prefer handmade paper and other such natural products and therapies as opposed to the more conventional ones.
With rising concern about the environment, destruction of trees, water scarcity and the parallel rise in organic food, we hope it won’t be long before handmade paper becomes the preferred norm among the population as opposed to paper that requires cutting trees and using chemicals.
Bluecat Paper makes handmade paper with 0% chemicals, great design and re-use of water with a special effluent treatment plant.