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 on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.
Essentially, crops are commonly grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, irradiation (a form of radiation used to kill bacteria), heavy metals, solvents, and biotechnology.
By avoiding these harmful pesticides and fertilizers, people can increase their production of the phytochemicals (vitamins and antioxidants) and of course reduce the amount of exposure to antibiotics and pesticides that research has linked to damaging results in public health.
Organic foods are generally much healthier than conventional foods because they contain sustainably higher nutrients of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients. The higher nutritional values rely on the soil in which the food is grown and whether it meets the standard of sustainable practice. In comparison to conventional foods, organically grown foods provide: 21.1% more iron (than their conventional counterparts); 27% more vitamin C; 29.3% more magnesium; 13.6% more phosphorus.
Organic livestock are given organic feed and have access to the outdoors unlike conventional farms where animals are confined to small spaces and are raised with antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.