With the growing popularity of organic foods in high street supermarkets, it‘s worth considering; just what does ‘organic’ mean?
Firstly, any food product labelled and marketed as ‘organic’ must meet certain environmental and ethical standards. This means no artificial colours or preservatives, GM-free ingredients, less exposure to pesticides, and the ethical treatment of livestock. Whilst this is great for the planet, and certainly more humane, from a more personal perspective there is also evidence of health benefits for the consumer. A recent study by Newcastle University found that organic foods contain significantly more antioxidants than non-organic alternatives. Whilst the full e
xtent of the health benefits from organic food is currently unknown, the general opinion is positive. Certainly, where organic foods contain fewer metal contaminants and pesticides, the health benefits are more definitive.
Another great thing about organic food is that it is ethically produced. A demand for food variety at a low-cost is forcing farmers to seek out new methods to increase yields. Sometimes, these methods are hazardous to the environment and can lead to unethical treatment of livestock. Whilst buying organic does, admittedly, come at a slightly higher cost to us, the consumer, it promotes a more sustainable way of life. By choosing organic, we can create a demand in the food market that will encourage the Food Industry to get on board with more sustainable practices.
Eating organically doesn’t have to break the bank – check out our previous post for tips on how to buy organic on a budget.