As you shop today you are faced with choices. Ethical, green, pet friendly, healthy options can leave you feeling a bit confused. Organic foods fit all of the criteria you may want into one and the benefits make it a great value proposition.
1. Health benefits
Organic foods are not treated with pesticides and have significantly fewer additives. They are increasingly being found have raised levels of beneficial nutrients too including high levels of Vitamins C and minerals such as iron and calcium. Notably, the cancer fighting antioxidant Omega three has been found in high levels in organics. Many people believe that cows from organic dairy farms are given more natural Red Clover as feed which increases the nutrient content of organic milk. [Source: Research by Universities of Liverpool and Glasgow from 2002-2005 published in the Journal of Dairy Science in 2006.
2. Avoid pesticides that stay on food
Organic farming avoids the use of unnecessary pesticides, helping to reduce your exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals. In farms that are not organic, 311 pesticides are commonly used. Residues of these pesticides are usually left on the food when it is tested. In 2005, according to the government’s Pesticide Residues Committee, 40% of non-organic produce including bread showed the presence of pesticides. Some produce was worse than others. Every orange tested showed the presence of chemicals, 95% of pears, 90% of oranges and lower but not better, 72% of grapes.
3. Organic means free range
People are more eager to purchase chicken and eggs labelled free range but they don’t always know that an alternative label is organic. According to the soil Association, organics encompass free range standards and they guarantee to enforce strict free range standards for chickens and other poultry. This means that the animals are raised in smaller flocks, they have more time outside and they eat fresh grass, breathe fresh air and are not as confined as other chickens.
4. Animal welfare
Many farm animals live in unfavorable conditions as highlighted on recent TV programs. Documentaries have revealed what happens to livestock that is born to be killed. The animals that are contained within the factory walls are sometimes mistreated and lead uncomfortable lives. Some animals resort to fighting others or harming themselves. To prevent this workers are forced to take seemingly desperate measures such as grinding their teeth and removing tails. There are many laws to protect such animals but these may not always be followed or enforced.
Soil Association standards do not allow for animals to be given antibiotics. In non-organic farming, it is common for antibiotics to be given to animals to fight illnesses that are sometimes spread when the animals are raised in tight spaces. Some scientists have found connections between those additives and bacterial resistance to certain antibiotics in people.
6. Genetically Modified (GM) products
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Organic farmers cannot feed genetically modified crops to their animals. Although organic livestock is banned from being fed genetically modified foods, current grocery stores carry GM fed products in the form of bacon, pork and many dairy products on their shelves.
Despite studies that have connected food additives to hyperactivity and other behavioural disorders in children, there are still 314 additives that can be in non-organic food. Organic standards considerably reduce the use of additives and usually only use those that come from natural sources for example lemon juice-citric acid. Some of the additives that are not allowed according to the soil Association are hydrogenated fat, monosodium glutamate and aspartame (artificial sweetener).
8. Wildlife and the environment
On the one hand, 31,000 tonnes of chemicals are used to control insects weeds and all kinds of pests that damage crops in non-organic farming. While on the other hand, £120 million is emptied from tax payers pockets every year to free our drinking water from the toxic chemicals resulting from pesticides.
Organic farmers make use of natural processes in land management. Nutrient rich soil cultivation by encouraging natural predators promotes healthy crops which are naturally resistant to disease and pests while natural habitats in the farm like hedgerows attract wildlife. It is not difficult to believe that research shows that more varieties and species of butterflies, birds, bats and wild flowers are found in organic farms.
Food and farming causes an unbelievable 20% of green house gas emissions in UK. A good step to help bring down our carbon footprint would be to opt for organic, seasonal and local food.
9. Creating jobs
Not only does organic farming rejuvenate the economy and inspire the young to take up agriculture as a profession, it also creates more and new employment. The U.K.’s agricultural workforce has reduced by 80% in the last half century is now in its ascendancy due partly to the positive energy of organic farming. According to the University of Essex, if UK turns into a totally organic farming country then it will bring in more than 93,000 new jobs.
10. It’s a matter of taste
It has been revealed by quality and taste research that more and more shoppers are selecting organic food products for their superior taste. The fuller flavor possibly comes from the slow growth of organic fruits and vegetables and their lower water content.
These are 10 simple and hopefully compelling reasons to choose organic produce.
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