Organic is good for you and the planet. It’s kind to animals and wildlife and allows us make a big difference simply through the way we shop. With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why organic delivers such good value for money.
Over 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food and farming. Nitrogen fertiliser manufacturing is the worst offender. To produce just one tonne takes one tonne of oil, seven tonnes of greenhouse gasses and one hundred tonnes of water. Organic farmers work with nature to feed the soil and control pests. By choosing organic, local and seasonal food we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
No food has higher amounts of beneficial minerals, essential amino acids and vitamins than organic food. Organic food avoids pesticides and all controversial additives including aspartame, tartrazine, MSG and hydrogenated fats. Organic food contains higher levels of vitamin C and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants and Omega 3. Organic milk for example, is on average 68% higher in Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
A study by the French food safety authority found that organic plant products contain more anti-oxidants such as phenols and salicylic acid, known to protect against cancer and heart disease. Their research discovered organic animal products contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids, which also helps to protect against heart disease.
Animal welfare is at the heart of organic systems. Soil Association standards for meat and animal products rigorously protect all aspects of animal wellbeing: rearing, feeding, shelter, transportation and slaughter. Organic animals are free to pursue natural behaviour because they have plenty of outside space to thrive and grow, and are not routinely drugged with antibiotics. Organic standards prohibit cruelty and guarantee truly free-range lives for farm animals.
The UK government’s advisors found that plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms. Organic farming relies on wildlife to help control natural pests; so wide field edges are left uncultivated for bugs, birds and bees to flourish. They are also not sprayed away by the fertilisers, chemicals and pesticides routinely used on non-organic farms.
Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards. Shoppers wanting to avoid GM products may be surprised to know that over a million tonnes of GM crops are imported each year to feed non-organic livestock. This in turn supplies our supermarkets with pork, bacon, milk, cheese and other dairy products.
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