Seafood Cookery by Ely Bonner

Organic Fertilizer vs mSynthetic Fertilizer

Produce refers to any food that is grown and harvested in the farm or garden which we buy from supermarkets or green groceries for our consumption. The vital factor for the plants to grow and produce food is nitrogen. Whether the produce is organically grown or conventionally grown by using synthetic fertilizer it uses nitrogen, Organically produced products are those that are grown without the use of commercial or synthetic fertilizer, instead relied on optimal use of soil nutrients, recycle sewage, compost dead plants and animals and plant legumes to increase nitrogen in the soil.

It is essential for a person to eat about 50 grams of protein per day to avoid malnutrition. Proteins are made up of small subunits of amino acids that contain a fixed nitrogen group. Although the air consist of 80% nitrogen they can not be used by plants and animals for growth. This nitrogen is tightly bound and highly unreactive. Nitrogen combined with other atoms is known as fixed nitrogen and it comes from animals and plants we eat. Few plants such as beans, peas, clover, alfalfa and lupins are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen, but they require some bacteria in their root nodules to do the job. Some plants get their nitrogen indirectly from urine, manure and remains of dead plants and animals.

In 1908, a process that uses heat and high pressure was invented that could convert atmospheric nitrogen and hydrogen into ammonia. This then is converted into urea and ammonium nitrate for use as synthetic fertilizer. This is   regarded as the greatest invention because if not for the use of synthetic fertilizer, the crops of rice, wheat, corn, etc. that feed the growing population of the world could not be produced.

One big disadvantage of buying organic produce is the cost. It is much, much more expensive than the regular or conventional produce. Research haven’t come out of a definitive result, that is whether organic produce is more nutritious and taste better than the conventional produce. It is also debated if organic produce is guaranteed free of chemical residues as they can drift from other areas or could be in the soil already.

One drawback of organic farming, according to experts, is that it is not sustainable as it does not generate enough fixed nitrogen. It could never feed the world’s ever growing population.

Note: A bit of advice, if you fancied buying organic produce be sure it is labelled “certified organic”.

It has been a very cold winter and soup and curry should be in the menu.

Prawn Curry


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 cloves minced garlic                                       2 cups coconut milk

1 onion, finely sliced              

1   red hot peppers, small

1 teaspoons curry powder                                 

2   eggplants, medium, sliced

½   kg medium prawns shelled and sliced

½  cup prawn juice


1. Sauté garlic, onion, and curry powder.

2. Add shrimp, shrimp juice (extracted from the shells) and salt.

3. Add coconut milk in which red hot peppers have been crushed.

4. Stir until it boils; add eggplant and cook for 5 minutes longer.

5. Serve hot with rice and green vegetable salad.

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