With the rise of industrialized agriculture came a movement in opposition; organic farming. This method of farming arose around the 1940s by farmers who sought to encourage a rich biodiversity on their land rather than the overwhelming monoculture that had swept most farmers and their land at the time. While the movement has only picked up speed in recent times with the FDA requiring strict guidelines to be followed in order for produce to be properly applied as ‘organic’, it has allowed online sellers such as New Century Organic Food to flourish on the web. Of course, what is organic and what is not organic, as far as marketing and health codes go, is to be dictated by the governing body within the country that oversees such standards.
It was Lord Northbourne who in 1939 with his book Look to the Land, who coined the term organic and considered the entire farm as an organic and described it as a ‘holistic’ approach to ‘ecological balanced farming’ as opposed to the monoculture which had begun growing around him. A monoculture which was more and more seeing the impact of chemical treatments given to the single crop which dominates the farmer’s land – even unto today.
Organic, when properly applied within a agricultural context, is the method in which produce is grown and processed but does not necessarily include the chemicals utilized in the treatment of the crops. This movement has allowed for the small farmers to continue their way of life rather than be swallowed up by the increasing monoculture farms. For many, the motto of ‘Know your farmer, know your food’ is very much a real one. Locally there has been a rise in Farmers Market groups offering a unique chance for consumers to meet with their local food producers while skipping the middle man of non-organic food farmers.