With the world casting a sharp eye on the environment and the changes individuals can make, the annual Organic September campaign will hit the headlines for all the right reasons.
For 30 days each year The Soil Association aims to raise awareness of organic products, the brands, producers and farmers who bring them to us in the UK.
“Acting as a springboard for a wider change, buying organic is the first step in a bigger movement towards sustainable living. We’re asking our audiences to think of themselves as food citizens, actively participating in the organic movement – by growing, producing, eating and buying organic and campaigning for agricultural reform.” The Soil Association.
Why buy organic?
• Contain no artificial additives or preservatives.
• Contain fewer pesticides. There are only 20 pesticides that can be used by organic farmers all of which are derived from natural ingredients. This is compared to almost 300 pesticides used in regular farming.
• Conform to high standards of animal welfare.
• Contain no genetically modified ingredients.
• Have been produced in a way that is sustainable.
Because of these rules, foods labelled as organic must meet strict regulations on how they’ve been grown and produced. Yearly inspections are carried out to ensure companies are meeting the high standards expected.
Antioxidants:Studies show the effects of antioxidants from organic food have more impact on your health.
Healthy heart: Animals that spend an increased amount of time grazing on grass increases a CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) that can be found in animal products. CLA is a heart healthy fatty acid that can boost cardiovascular protection.
Immune system boost: Foods that are genetically modified can cause a major reduction in immune system strength, as well as a host of other problems. Eating organic can avoid this.
Antibiotic resistance: Some non-organic food sources use antibiotics to feed their animals, which in turn go into our food stream. This can then weakness our ability to fight illnesses when needing antibiotics. Organic food growers and dairy farmers don’t use antibiotics in their processes.
Taste: Organic food is often locally sourced, which means it hasn’t been frozen and shipped long distances. This in turn keeps the freshness and flavour.
Animal welfare: Organic advocates often feel better happy that the animals being farmed are not caged in the same way as mass produced meat and poultry.
The Soil Association says that by switching just one item in your shop to organic will help contribute to changing our food system, buying more organic food means more organic farms so fewer pesticides which is better for our wildlife and means more farm animals raised under higher welfare standards.
If you’d like to eat organic food but are worried about the cost, there are things you can do. Consider buying in bulk, buy own brand products from supermarkets, make a gradual move to organic so it’s easier to manage the cost, eat less meat and finally, buy seasonally and locally.
Or why not grow your own – have a read of our allotment blog and be inspired to grow at home.