Did you know organic crops are up to 68% higher in key antioxidants than conventionally-grown ones?
In a bid to switch more people onto the benefits of organic food, The Soil Association have invented yet another National Month – Organic September. But we’ve been doing our research and, though the financial cost of switching is high, the arguments for choosing organic are pretty compelling.
Around 17,800 tonnes of pesticides are sprayed onto British farms each year – almost 300 pesticides are routinely used here. 43% of British food tested by the government in 2015 contained pesticide residues (although it’s thought washing fruit and vegetables well in cold water removes up to 80% of pesticide residue).
5 health reasons to choose organic
1. In conventional farming antibiotics are used freely, helping bacteria emerge which are resistant to life-saving drugs. The use of antibiotics in animals is more strictly controlled in organic farming in favour of good animal care.
2. Both organic milk (dairy) and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s because clover is used in organic farming to fix nitrogen to help crops and grass grow instead of chemical fertilizers and clover increases Omega 3.
3. Organic milk and dairy products have 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has been linked to a range of health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers and obesity.
4. Organic meat has slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats linked to heart disease.
5. Organic fruit and veg contain lower concentrations of pesticides and the toxic heavy metal cadmium.
4 eco reasons to choose organic
1. 30% more wildlife species are found on organic farms than non-organic.
2. Animal welfare standards are the highest in farms certified ‘organic’ by the Soil Association. Choosing organic also means you’re choosing free range.
3. Agriculture is responsible for around 14% of greenhouse (GHG) emissions worldwide. Switching to organic farming across the UK could offset at least 23% of the UK’s GHG emissions.
4. Healthy soils store three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and five times as much as forests – switching to organic farming could save 64 million tonnes of carbon over 20 years in the UK (the equivalent to taking almost million cars off the road).
Organic September Saturday takes place on September 16th and will include demonstrations and organic sampling across the UK. www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/organic-september/
Planet Organic was the first store to be certified organic by the Soil Association. Members of the Local Buyers Club can save 10% at their Essex Road shop.