Why Eat Organic
8 Reasons To Eat Organic Food
I have always believed in eating to be healthy – enjoying simple and good food that nurtures the mind and body. For me, this means eating organic.
Put simply: organic food is better for you, better for the environment and better for our animals. And in my opinion, it also tastes better.
We have been farming organically for over 35 years and in that time the market for organic food has changed enormously. When we set out to convert our farm to organic, there was little awareness about the huge benefits of organic farming and the market was niche, to say the very least.
I’m pleased to say that much has changed. Over the years we have seen a much greater awareness of the benefits of eating organic food and with that has come increased demand and supply.
Organic food is now readily available in supermarkets across the UK and according to the Soil Association’s latest report, the organic market grew by 4% in 2014, with consistent growth forecast for the next three years.
It is encouraging news but there is still room for improvement and I think much stems from awareness.
For me, eating organically is a way of life. It’s about sustainable health and making small lifestyle changes that add up to greater overall wellbeing; both for ourselves and for the environment.
This need not mean a complete overhaul of your shopping habits, which given the current availability and cost constraints of organic food, is not always realistic.
However, in order to make a difference, you can start by substituting a few items in your normal shopping bag for organic. Having a little less meat (but better quality!) and a few more organic vegetables and pulses will make the transition perfectly affordable.
This small change will make a difference to food, health, farming, biodiversity and the environment.
- So we know what’s in our food
Organic is food you can trust. Knowing where our food comes from has never been more important and yet it is increasingly difficult to buy all our food from a reliable farmer, grower or processor.
The definition and criteria for organic food labelling are laid down in European law and organic farmers are rigorously audited, meaning that organic food always maintains the highest standards.
Cheap chemical additives, hydrogenated fats, artificial colours and preservatives including aspartame and tartrazine, are banned under organic standards.
- To avoid antibiotics
No system of farming has a lower use of antibiotics. The routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers is banned in organic farming – instead we use preventative methods, like moving animals to fresh pasture and keeping smaller herds and flock sizes.
- To stay clear of pesticides
No system of farming has lower pesticide use. Pesticides – whether designed to treat weeds, fungal infection, insects or other pests – are created to interrupt biological processes to protect crops.
Unfortunately the effect is not always exclusive to the pest species and the rocking of the natural balance impacts on the wider ecology. Besides, given that pesticides are designed to harm living organisms, we would rather avoid having them on our plate.
- Because organic is always better for you
Organic farming produces the highest quality of food, and the highest quality will always provide you with the best nutrition.
For example, no system of farming has milk with higher nutrient levels than organic. Fresh organic produce provides your body with so many more antioxidants than non-organic food.
- To be free of GM foods
We strongly believe that we don’t need GM foods and they do more harm than good.
Over a million ton of GM crops are imported each year to feed the majority of non-organic livestock, but rest assured, genetically modified crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards.
- For animal welfare
Organic has the highest standards of animal welfare.
Free range, freedom foods, red tractor and other labels can be confusing. Organic standards require more space for the animals, restrict practices that can be detrimental to welfare, and focus on lowering stress to improve health status.
- Organic is forever
Organic farming reduces environmental pollution and the release of greenhouse gases from food production by severely restricting the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
What’s more, organic farming uses less energy overall and can help fight against climate change by sequestering carbon in soils.
The overall balance is less climate change gasses omitted, and more locked away.
Organic farming also protects natural resources like fresh water and healthy soils. It is more drought resistant and therefore more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
- To protect our wildlife
Wildlife is 50% more abundant on organic farms. They support on average a third more species, including our precious pollinators, and more rare species at that.
- Organic food tastes better.
And finally, many people choose organic simply because it tastes good and I couldn’t agree more.
By Carole Bamford, founder of Daylesford Organic
Daylesford Organic endorses statements produced by the Soil Association. For more information on organic food, please visit their website - soilassociation.org.