Organic cuisine made a splash over the weekend in Sao Paulo and is unlikely to go away in Brazil, where an increasing number of people are turning to organically grown products in an effort to improve their quality of life despite the higher price of these goods.
"Today, people prefer to invest more in food instead of spending more later on medicines," one of the organizers of the Organic Gastronomy Festival told Efe.
The festival ran from Thursday to Sunday in the heart of Brazil's financial capital.
The Organic Gastronomy Festival, the largest event of its type in South America's biggest country, offered visitors a look at a wide range of organic products and a series of cooking demonstrations featuring different chefs, who experimented with naturally grown produce.
Organic foods are becoming more common on menus because their intense flavors are viewed as "a quality seal" for each dish, Inti Mendez, the chef at a Sao Paulo vegetarian restaurant, told Efe.
"Organic vegetarian food is worked on with more generosity, more love. There are no rules in the kitchen, just flavors, and the flavor you like is the one you have to use," Mendez said.
Silvia Corbucci, a former architect, is a chef who specializes in organic cuisine and writes a blog.
"This type of cooking focuses special attention on health. It's cooking understood in another form - we do not need to use chemicals and animal-based products to have flavor and its benefits," Corbucci told Efe.
Brazil, according to International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, or IFOAM, figures, is the world's No. 5 producer of organic products.
Some 1.4 million hectares (3.45 million acres) are being farmed organically around the globe, accounting for about 1 percent of the world's farmland, IFOAM says. EFE