About Organic Food
What are the benefits of Organic food?
The word ‘organic’ means ‘keeping house’. Farmers ‘keep house’ by respecting the soil and working in balance with nature. Basically, organic methods avoid the unnecessary use of harmful chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Instead farmers develop the quality of the soil and use crop rotation.
75% of the British public chose to buy organic food to some degree and organic food sales grow day by day. However, is it worth the extra cost? Here's some reasons we think it is.
Organic produce is free from a cocktail of poisonous chemicals. The average conventionally-grown apple has 20-30 artificial poisons on its skin, even after rinsing. About 350 pesticides are allowed in conventional farming, with an estimated 4.5 billion litres of chemicals poured onto British crops every year. If you don't fancy a chemical cocktail with your dinner buy organic food.
Fresh, organic produce allowed to grow more slowly and naturally is believed to contain up to 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farmed produce. Organic milk for example is naturally higher in omega 3 essential fatty acids.
Almost all, (about 99%) of non-organic farm animals in the UK are now fed GM soya. In contrast, there has never been a reported case of BSE in organic cattle in the UK. It seems logical to conclude that organically fed meat from organic food companies is safer.
Organic food, in our opinion, tastes so much better. Organic food is allowed to grow according to Nature’s clock and in surveys, over 75% of people agree that fresh organic vegetables and fruit tastes better.
Eating organic food helps to avoid the transferance of anti-biotics in the food chain to humans. Intensively-reared farm animals are routinely given anti-biotics, growth promoting drugs, anti-parasite drugs and many other medicines on a daily basis, whether they have an illness or not. These drugs are passed directly onto the consumers of dairy produce or meat and could be partly responsible for anti-biotic resistant strains of bacteria and diseases.
Eating local organic food is currently the only practical way to avoid eating genetically modified (GM) food though this is likely to be affected by British food policy soon.
Organic farms support and nurture wildlife, biodiversity and can even reverse negative trends. For example, organic dairy farms do not cut hedges between March and October when birds are nesting and often numbers of birds increase in areas where organic farming is wider spread.
Organic food is not really more expensive than intensively farmed foods, as we pay for conventional foods through our taxes. Food is not just about pricing but tax payers spend £120m to remove chemicals from drinking water, mainly as a result of the pesticides used in farming. The BSE crisis cost us 4 billion pounds.
Intensive farming can seriously damage farm workers' health. There are much higher instances of cancer, respiratory problems and other major diseases in farm workers from non-organic farms. Choose organic and care about the health of farm workers.
Finally if you simply want to see generations to come enjoy the countryside and live life without significant traces of pesticides in their urine, why not buy more organic food and have organic food deliveries?
This article is based upon a "10 reasons to Go Organic" list on The Organic Food website.
If you can't afford to buy everything organic online see our article on which non-organic foods carry the heaviest pesticde loading and our article on eating on a budget in news and articles under useful info.