Organic… What does it really mean?

Organic food is better for the planet. Buying certified organic produce means that you are supporting Organic farming which is free from chemical pesticides and herbicides. It promotes ethical farming processes, fair work conditions, as well as the sustainable use of natural resources. Organic farming also builds better soil health through crop rotation and natural forms of fertilisation. These processes then creates habitat for bees, butterflies, native pollinators and predatory insects to do their thing. The humane treatment of animals is another very important part of Organic Farming. The animals have space to free range in a stress free environment, producing hormone and antibiotic-free meat.

Dealing with global warming and changing weather patterns on a warming planet is a challenge organic farms are more able to deal with. The soils on organic farms store up to twice as much water, helping to protect against flooding, and performing better during drought. Organic farming supports cleaner water for wildlife, by using natural fertilisers which don’t inhibit the oxygen levels in our waterways as conventional fertilisers can do.

Organic farmers also employ agroforestry to create diversity and resilience in their crops, and helps them to be flexible when crops fail or markets are volatile.

The quality and flavour of organic produce is evidence of the hard work organic farmers put into caring for their crops and animals. And research has found significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic produce.

  • A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2014 showed that there is around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in organic milk and meat than non-organic. These nutritional differences also apply to organic dairy like butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt.
  • Organic milk and dairy were found to contain slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids.
  • Crops of grains, fruit and vegetables were found with up to 68% more antioxidants than non-organic
  • Organic fruit and veg were shown to have lower concentrations of pesticides and the toxic heavy metal cadmium.