Know what you’re eating: eat organic!

September 13, 2018 6:23 am Published by 1 Comment

No harmful pesticide residue. No GM material. No antibiotics in the food chain. No nasty additives. That’s organic food, in a nutshell!

If you like to know just what you’re eating – and aren’t taken in by cynical big-company marketing campaigns – then you’re no doubt keen to eat organic. Regulated by the Soil Association in the UK and similar bodies worldwide, organic food is free from harmful pesticide residue, free from GM material, free from the routine use of antibiotics and free from additives. It’s grown under strict rules, with an emphasis on sustainability and environmental protection. It’s clean and green, high in nutrition and very tasty.

All organic food is fully traceable from ‘farm to fork’ – nothing slips through the net. The standards are laid down in European law and backed up by rigorous inspection regimes and certification. Naturally Good Food is itself inspected annually by the Soil Association: we have to account for every single organic lentil, seed, nut and grain that passes through our building.

Thanks to our Soil Association certification, we’re one of the UK’s leading online retailers of organic food. We believe it to be the best for health, for taste and for the environment. And we like knowing just what we’re putting in our mouths!

No harmful pesticide residue

In non-organic farming, almost 300 pesticides are routinely used – and used on a huge scale. In 2015 over 17,800 tonnes of pesticides were used in the UK, to kill weeds and insects and control crop diseases.  But pesticides don’t just kill the target pest. They poison other wildlife too, disrupting ecosystems, and contaminate the surrounding environment, polluting water as they ‘run off’ the soil.

Pesticides also ‘pollute’ the crops on which they’re used. According to the Soil Association, testing in 2015 found pesticide residue in 43% of British food, with many foodstuffs containing traces of multiple pesticides: 87% of pears, for instance, and 79% of grapes contained traces of more than one pesticide. Washing and cooking fail to remove pesticide residue completely. As the Association says:

‘The best way to reduce your exposure to pesticides in all food is to buy organic. Certified organic food, including all fruit and vegetables, processed food, dairy and meat products will overall contain fewer pesticides.’

In organic farming, no synthetic pesticides are permitted and herbicides such as Glyphosate are banned. Organic farmers may, under very restricted circumstances, use a small number of pesticides (just 20), derived from natural ingredients such as citronella and clove oil.

No GM material

Three big companies – Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer – control the GM (genetically modified) crops market. They’re big business, with big marketing campaigns, which make even bigger promises of higher yields and improved nutritional value. The Soil Association is far from convinced. It argues that traits such as ‘pest-resistance, blight-resistance, and tolerance of drought, flood, and salinity’ can all be produced much more efficiently and in a less damaging way by non-GM practices.

The Association points out that in the GM system, pesticide use has increased enormously, especially in North and South America, where there has been ‘blanket spraying’ of the weed-killer Round-up:

‘The use of Monsanto’s glyphosate has skyrocketed since the introduction of glyphosate-resistant GM crops, becoming the most used weed-killer in the world…these crops create herbicide-resistant ‘superweeds’, trapping farmers in an increasingly expensive arms race where the only winners are the chemical companies.’

It’s not just crops. Almost all the non-organic livestock raised in the UK are fed with GM feed. If you’re concerned about GM – because of its disruption to natural practices, because of the pesticide use, or for any other reason – you simply need to eat organic. Genetically modified crops and additives are banned in the organic system.

No nasty additives

You’ll also be relieved to know that in organic food, hydrogenated fats and artificial food colours and preservatives are also banned. The result is food that tastes amazing and that doesn’t risk our health, thanks purely to natural and real ingredients.

Avoid antibiotics

Worldwide, we’re rapidly becoming resistant to antibiotics. The roots of the problem, according to the Soil Association, lie in our farming methods: farm animals account for almost two-thirds of all antibiotics used in the EU – and these are passed down to humans through the food chain.

In organic farming systems, however, the routine use (or purely preventative use) of antibiotics is banned. Human exposure to antibiotics is thus greatly limited.

The Soil Association doesn’t believe that antibiotic use in farming is inevitable. It points out that good hygiene, good husbandry and good housing for farm animals greatly reduce the need for antibiotics. There must, it says, be ‘a fundamental change in our current farming model…indiscriminate use of antibiotics to compensate for unsustainable farming practices must stop’.

Buy organic with Naturally Good Food

Convinced? Most of our customers are. At Naturally Good Food we stock a huge selection of organic wholefoods, organic toiletries and organic household goods. We’ve got products for families and for caterers, in small packs and in bulk. We handle (and taste) organic produce every day and are wholly convinced of its great value, its environmental benefits, its nutritious qualities and its taste. If you’d like to eat organic with us, click here to view our range.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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