The standards of organic food differ worldwide. Generally speaking, organic farming:
Does not use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Instead, it uses products of organic origin such as compost manure, or green manure.
Does not use unnecessary additives such as flavorings and colorings, or processes such as chemical ripening or food irradiation.
Emphasizes techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting
Doesn't use genetically modified crops.
What are the implications?
Organic farming reduces pollution, saves water and resources, decreases soil erosion, increases soil fertility, and uses less energy. Farming without synthetic pesticides is also better for nearby animals.
Farming without synthetic pesticides is also better for the communities that live close to farms, and for the farmer's health and fertility.
There is little scientific evidence about the impact of eating organic foods on our health long-term. However, many synthetic pesticides have shown neurotoxicity, and some are considered to cause endocrine disruptions. There are also studies that link certain pesticides to adverse effects on children's cognitive development.
On the other hand, organic plants have more non-traditional nutrients like polyphenol antioxidants. This is because synthetic fertilizers used in non-organic farming divert more of the plant resources to grow in size rather than to defend themselves. They also have fewer antinutrients, heavy metals, and pesticide residues.
There is not much scientific evidence that organic foods taste better than non-organic. Non the less, organic fruits and veggies are given more time to develop and mature before harvesting, and they are often fresher because they don't contain preservatives to make them last longer.
There are two main reasons why using organic ingredients is preferrable in fermentation:
Some of the ragis (the microorganisms that transform the food into delicious fermented products) are quite sensitive to synthetic chemicals. This can interfere with the fermentation process.
The ragis need food to survive, usually sugars and starches. As parents for their kids, we want the best food for our ragis for them to be healthy and produce the best quality ferments.