When we started BOTANISTRY, we didn’t want to compromise on our values, and one of them was organic sourcing. All the plant ingredients selected for BOTANISTRY all-natural health supplements are certified organic under European Union (EU) regulations. Let’s take a look at what it means to be an organic product and why we choose organic.
Something that is “organic” is grown and processed in a certain way. EU regulations define organic production as “an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environment practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources and the application of high animal welfare standards.” More specifically, they emphasise the following aspects:
- Organic crops are grown without synthetic / chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. In addition, no sewage sludge is used as fertiliser.
- They are also non-GMO, meaning that they are not created using genetic engineering and therefore are not genetically modified organisms (GMO). The reason that genetic technology is used widely is to increase crop harvests as GMO-crops are created to be more resistant to disease and pests.
- No radiation is used to preserve food or to eliminate disease and pests.
- Organic farms are typically smaller in scale and with lower output; they don’t look like typical agriculture fields. The approach to organic or regenerative farming goes back to basics. It includes composting, crop rotation, cover crops as well as natural methods of weed control and growth promotion. Read more about regenerative farming here.
- Organic farming practices aim to improve soil and water quality, eliminate pollution, provide safe and healthy ecosystems, and promote a self-sustaining cycle of resource use within a farm.
Why we choose organic for BOTANISTRY Ayurvedic supplements? It’s certainly not the first or easy choice, and it means our sourcing process is more challenging. There are a fewer number of genuine suppliers, it is seasonal and order quantities are limited. It also means higher prices due to the more rigorous and labour-intensive growing and testing process. The three main reasons why we choose organic ingredients is because: it may prevent chronic disease, the produce is more nutritious and flavourful, and it’s better for the environment.
Preventing chronic disease
Eating organic is no longer simply a trend. There is increasing evidence that eating organic food can help prevent health issues such as chronic disease prevention, some cancers, skin and digestive issues, and allergies. In fact in the US, a commonly used herbicide has been classified as a “probable human carcinogen”, while another insecticide has been associated with development delays in infants. Consuming organic foods reduces your exposure to toxic pesticides. For instance, conventionally-grown fruit has 75% more pesticide traces on them. In regenerative farming, certain natural pesticides are used and other insects or insect traps are deployed to control pests.
More nutrition and flavour
Recent research studies have found significant differences between food that is organically grown versus conventionally farmed. Organic plants contain on average 25% higher nutrient concentrations. Organic fruits, vegetables and grains contain as much as 60% higher antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops. Specifically, they have found 50% higher concentration of flavonols and 51% higher anthocyanins – key antioxidants that support the body in fighting chronic disease. However, the research is not completely conclusive and more studies are needed. What is clear though, is that organic produce tends to be bolder and richer in flavour than their non-organic counterparts.
Better for the environment
Regenerative farming practices are better and more sustainable for the planet. Did you know that an estimated 75% of agricultural genetic diversity has been lost in the last 100 years? This is because conventional food is a hybrid created to bear large, uniform and attractive produce, for example standard potatoes or tomatoes. This sameness and lack of crop diversity takes a toll on soil health and ecosystems. Toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers strip the soil of essential nutrients, and the runoff also pollutes nearby waterbodies, which negatively impacts wildlife and local communities. There is a higher risk of soil erosion because of the use of heavy machinery. In organic farming, cover crops are used when the land is not in use in order to prevent soil erosion.
From Moringa to Lemongrass to Green Tea, all our ingredients are grown in certified organic conditions and independently tested. Having family members on the ground, we are physically able to visit the community farms to ensure high quality, ethical sourcing and fair trade. Only the most fragrant and flavourful organic produce is hand-harvested for our nutrient-dense BOTANISTRY Ayurvedic supplement powders. The organic ingredients are blended and packed at a Ministry of Primary Industries-registered facility in Auckland, New Zealand.
Growing organic produce and regenerative farming practices are vast areas of knowledge and we continue to learn ourselves. Unsure about something – please feel free to send us a message or email with any questions.