Organic Food | Introduction

| 25/05/2012 | 0 Comments More

Every time you go food shopping you’re faced with shelves and chillers of choice.  Organic food is just one of them.  With the UKs Organic market the 3rd largest in Europe (after Germany & Italy).

But exactly what is organic food and is it really better for us?

What is Organic Food?

Organic food is produced with the environment and wildlife in mind.  It uses fewer chemicals and pesticides and doesnt use genetically modified organisms.  But it does have to meet the same minimum standards as conventional foods.

Farming & Animal Welfare:

By growing different crops on a field each year (crop rotation), organic farmers keep the soil healthy and reduce the need for fertilisers.  Animal welfare is also important.  Organiclly reared animals are given more living space and arent routinely given antibiotics.  Our wildlife benefits too as organic farms maintain hedgerows and create spaces at the edges of fields to help nature thrive.

These benefits come at a price Organic food trends to be more expensive.  Simply because it takes longer to grow and has lower yields than intensively farmed products.

Is it Better For You?

Many people think organic food is a healthier option because of concerns about pesticides and other chemicals in food.  This is why organic baby food is so popular – half of the baby food sold is now produced organically.

Some research has indicated that organic foods have higher amounts of vitamin C and minerals.  Dr Virginia Warren, Assistant Medical Director, Group Medical, Bupa who states “Organic foods are pottentially better for the environment and for animal welfare but more research is needed before we can say if organic food is more nutritious than conventional foods”

Should You Go Organic???

There is a mounting amount of evidence that organic milk is more nutritious, and that organic vegetables have higher vitamin and mineral content than their non-organic counterparts.  At the same time however, there’s no denying that the credit crunch is biting and organic food can be pricier than the non-organic option.  At the end of the day, its up to you to consider the environment and ethical issues along with the cost involved, and decide whether going organic is the right decision for you.

According to the Soild Association, top scientists have written to the government’s food watchdog & the Food Standards Agency asking them to recognise organic milk is more nutritious than non-organic milk.  This has been sparked by research showing organic milk has 68% more Omega 3 essential fatty acids than non-organic milk.


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Category: Health News, Nutrition

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