Weekly Word 26 May 2015

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015)
Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015)

| ɔːˈganɪk |

It goes without saying that if you’re a healthy eating advocate as I am, you’d eat, breathe, and live organic (though it is infinitely easier said than done; we cannot afford to buy organic all the time). To go organic means to forego all artificial farming tools including pesticides – or, as my cousin said, to go for those “made by God, and not by man”. No wonder one of my new favorite restaurants in Metro Manila, The Wholesome Table, has flies buzzing around inside in spite of its cleanliness – it’s a trait organic food comes with.

We are human beings created in God’s image and likeness but not with all the power He possesses (for that would make us equal to God). As such, we have many limitations, and eating is one of them. We cannot stomach everything in this world, and trying to do so would only result in our deaths. Some things are not as drastic but can act as slow poisons; the artificial chemicals used in perfecting farming are certainly among these. True, scientific studies on organic versus conventional food do not conclusively provide that organic food is indeed healthier, but you’d rather avoid ingesting potentially harmful chemical residues, right?

There’s another reason to know the word “organic”. Look at the last definition below: “gradual or natural development”. In the area of social development, I believe this is very important and key. One cannot force development whether it be on others or on the self; because it would not be authentic development. The very nature of development itself presupposes an element of time and gradualness, allowing the seeds of learning to take root first and then sprout. To force development would be akin to forcing a seed to grow immediately, resulting in compromised growth.

And if that applies to a seed alone, what more for human beings, much less entire societies? If you are in the business of changing things, how can you expect people to listen to you if you rush it, if you force it? If you make others like or follow your posts, for example, just for figures, will you have a genuine audience really bent on listening to what you have to say? As opposed to if you get followers naturally, you get a quality audience that will really hear you out and even build on it. That is true and organic development.

Definition

as an adjective

  • relating to, or derived from, living matter.
    • (in chemistry) relating to or denoting compounds containing carbon (other than simple binary compounds and salts) and chiefly or ultimately of biological origin.
  • (of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.
  • (in physiology) relating to a bodily organ or organs.
    • (in medicine, of a disease) affecting the structure of an organ.
  • denoting or characterized by a harmonious relationship between the elements of a whole.
    • characterized by gradual or natural development.

as a noun [usually “organics”]

  • a food produced by organic farming.
  • an organic chemical compound.

Etymology

Late Middle English, via Latin from Greek organikos (“relating to an organ or instrument”).

In other languages

  • Bahasa Indonesia: organik
  • بهاس ملايو:
    • اورڬانيق (organik)
  • Cebuano: natural
  • Deutsch: organisch
  • Español: orgánico
  • Filipino: natural
  • Français: organique; naturel
  • 한국어: 유기적 인 (yugijeog in)
  • Italiano: organico
  • ភាសាខ្មែរ: សរីរាង្គ (sarirang)
  • Latino: organicum
  • မြန်မာဘာသာ: အော်ဂဲနစ် (aawgellnait)
  • 日本語: 器質的 (きしつてき); 有機的 (ゆうきてき)
  • ພາສາລາວ: ອົງການຈັດຕັ້ງ (ongkanchadtang)
  • ภาษาไทย: อินทรีย์ (Xinthrīy̒)
  • தமிழ்: கரிம (karima)
  • Tiếng Việt: hữu cơ
  • 中文: 有機 / 有机 (yǒujī); 器質性 / 器质性 (qìzhí xìng)
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