With Organic September here, we wanted to delve a little deeper into why Organic is so important right now...
In the face of climate change, diet related ill-health and widespread decline in wildlife, the need to change our food systems has never been greater.
There are many benefits of organic food and farming. Organic farming is a whole system approach that nurtures the soil, biodiversity and our planet. It’s underpinned by simplicity, and is about so much more than just food that’s free from synthetic chemicals. As well as banning artificial fertilisers and pesticides that can harm our bodies, it feeds into a holistic way of life that connects the farmers and you to soil health, plant diversity, environmental protection and great health.
Organic principles are nothing new – until the 1950s, all the food we ate was organically produced. It’s organic food that should be considered ‘normal’, rather than the factory-farmed, agrochemical stuff that’s only been on our shelves for the last 70 years!
And the reasons for eating organic food, and supporting organic farmers, growers and suppliers, are becoming more compelling than ever.
So let’s dig a little deeper (excuse the pun!).
WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT EATING ORGANIC?
Organic food can be far healthier. Soil Association research shows that organically produced crops, such as cereals, fruit and vegetables, were found to have up to 68% more antioxidants than non-organic, while organic fruit and veg contained lower concentrations of pesticides and the toxic heavy metal cadmium. Organic standards also restrict additives such as hydrogenated fats, artificial food colours and preservatives, aspartame and monosodium glutamate. In addition, organic fruit and vegetables are never washed in chlorine.
It’s nutritionally different to conventional foods
Organic food can be far healthier. Soil Association research shows that organically produced crops, such as cereals, fruit and vegetables, were found to have up to 68% more antioxidants than non-organic, while organic fruit and veg contained lower concentrations of pesticides and the toxic heavy metal cadmium. Organic standards also restrict additives such as hydrogenated fats, artificial food colours and preservatives, aspartame and monosodium glutamate.
No chemical nasties
Eating organic means you’ll ingest fewer chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Organic farmers must adhere to strict rules on how they grow their crops and raise their livestock. These include cutting out chemical fertilisers and pesticides almost completely in favour of natural alternatives such as manure and wood ash as fertilisers and plant-derived pesticides, and managing land to provide habitats for wildlife. In addition, organic fruit and vegetables are never washed in chlorine.
Supports Ecosystems and Wildlife
Organic farming methods encourage and protect wildlife. Over the last 50 years, there has been a steep decline in UK flora and fauna, mainly because of the 31,000 tonnes of chemicals that are sprayed on Britain’s farmland every year, decreasing soil fertility and harming bees and other pollinators, says the Soil Association. Because organic farming methods are more benign, wildlife is 50% more abundant on organic farms, which support on average 75% more plant species and have 50% more species of pollinators than non-organic farms.
It helps fight climate change
Under conventional methods, soil is degrading 10 to 40 times faster than it’s created. Organic farming methods nourish soil using compost, manure, cover crops – which also help soil erosion – and crop rotation. They improve biodiversity and encourage microbe diversity, decreasing the need for artificial fertiliser. The Organic Farming Research Organisation says organic crops are also more resilient to the effects of climate change, because organic soil can absorb and hold double the moisture.
Choosing Organic - certification stamps to look out for
Every product with an organic label has had each part of its production process carefully monitored from farm to shelf. Each organisation involved – like BodyMe! – has to show that they meet organic standards. By choosing organic, you know what’s in your food. But what should you look out for? The organic industry is booming and everyone wants a piece of the ‘natural’ pie. ‘Organic’ and ‘natural’ mean very different things, however, which means there are some unscrupulous growers who slap ‘organic’ labels on food that hasn’t actually undergone the stringent certification process. So, to be crystal clear that the food you choose is fully certified and 100% organic, look for the Soil Association symbol: a recognised and trusted mark of organic certification internationally. The Soil Association is an environmental charity that promotes sustainable organic farming while championing our health and wellbeing. Soil Association Certification is a not-for-profit subsidiary that inspects and certifies the largest number of registered organic farms and businesses in the UK as well as operating in 28 countries globally.
Can you afford organic?
Well, the real question is: can you afford not to eat organic?
We get it – organic food generally costs more. But choosing organic whenever you can makes good sense. After only 75 years, the industrial agriculture food system that we have been conditioned into supporting is falling apart. It is becoming increasingly obvious that it is incapable of delivering safe, healthy food, treating animals humanely or taking care of the environment. Choosing organic foods is one of the best readily available organised, coherent, global alternatives. We think Helen Browning, CEO of the Soil Association, says it all: “The hard work organic farmers put in pays off in the quality of the food they produce, giving real value for money.”
BodyMe is committed to delivering you the best, which is why all our products are certified organic. Better for you, better for the environment, better for life. Find all our certified organic products in our online shop.