Safe food and health are strongly linked. Ensuring food safety is a tough challenge in a large and complex country like India. Adulteration of several food items is regularly reported from different parts of country. Besides raw agriculture produce, pesticides have been found in packaged food products such as soft drinks and bottled water. So rampant is their use that they have been found in human tissues, blood and even breast milk. Unregistered pesticides and those with no set maximum limits are being used.
The theme for this year’s World Food Safety Day is ‘Safer food, better health,’ which stresses on the need for as holistic approach towards food system for better health in a sustainable manner to prevent food borne diseases. It focuses on the access of safe food which is essential for the health and well-being of people, animals and the environment. Only when food is safe, we can benefit from its nutritional value and the mental and social benefits of sharing a safe meal. Globally, one in ten people are affected by foodborne illnesses annually. With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children.
In the meantime, Organic food production is defined as cultivation without the application of chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides or genetically modified organisms, growth hormones, and antibiotics. The popularity of organically grown foods is increasing day by day owing to their nutritional and health benefits. Organic farming also protects the environment and has a greater socio-economic impact on a nation. India is a country that is bestowed with indigenous skills and potentiality for growth in organic agriculture. Although India was far behind in the adoption of organic farming due to several reasons, presently it has achieved rapid growth in organic agriculture and now becomes one of the largest organic producers in the world.