We asked the Soil Association to de-bunk the myths to help you understand what Organic really means…
It’s no healthier for you
Organic is nutritionally different – scientific research found organic milk and meat contains around 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic and organic fruit and vegetables have up to 68% more antioxidants. Eating organic also reduces your exposure to antibiotics and pesticides. Organic farmers avoid the use of pesticides. If all farming was organic, research suggests that pesticide use would drop by 98%. Over 320 pesticides can be routinely used in non-organic farming and these are often present in non-organic food. Farm animals account for almost two-thirds of all antibiotics used in the EU and these are passed down to us through the food chain. In organic farming systems the routine or preventative use of antibiotics is banned.
Organic is expensive
Organic can sometimes be more expensive – but not every time. Staples like pulses, pasta, rice and wholegrains are often the same price and when you can, buying directly from farmers or through box schemes, helps too. If you plan meals in advance, eat less, but better meat or try different cheaper cuts and seasonal ingredients, eating organic can be achievable for everyone. When organic does cost more, you’re paying for the extra care organic farmers place on the environment and animal welfare.
Organic is made up
If you want to know exactly what’s in your food – choose organic. All organic food is fully traceable from farm to fork, so you can be sure of what you’re eating. The standards for organic food are laid down in European law so any food labelled as organic must meet strict rules and be independently inspected and certified by a business like the Soil Association. Soil Association Certification is a symbol you can trust.
Organic isn’t easily available
Organic is everywhere, in over 8,000 shops across the country. Aldi, Lidl and Tesco have increased their organic lines, all milk at both McDonald’s and Pret is organic and schools, hospitals and universities across the country serve it every day. This year, the Soil Association has certified over 3,000 new organic products.
Organic is old fashioned
Sure, all food was produced organically 100 years ago – but it’s far from old fashioned. Some of the most innovative new products are organic – from nut butters to flavoured cold tea drinks, speciality flours and superfoods.
Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.