A Word About Organics
The Benefits of Organic Farming
Organic food is only grown in healthy soil. All our produce is certified by the Soil Association, who set the highest organic standards of all the certifying bodies. They establish the specific levels of nutrients required in the soil for each of the different crops to qualify as organic.
Through growing in healthy soil the plants benefit from the density of intrinsic nutrients. These crops, in turn, benefit whoever eats them. In non-organic farming it is possible to add chemicals in place of natural nutrients in order to make a plant a certain shape or size. For example, this may produce a perfectly round, perfectly coloured and juicy orange – however it may not actually contain any vitamin C. Studies have continued to show that organic foods contain more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and cancer-fighting anti-oxidants.
Organic farming avoids the use of chemicals – these are added to the non-organic production cycle for a number of reasons: (i) to boost yield – e.g. by preventing disease or by speeding up growth; (ii) to feed the plant in order to adopt characteristics such as colour; (iii) to control pests who might attack the plants. It should be noted that none of these actually benefit the consumer in terms of creating more nutritious, or even tasty, food. Organic farming has proven that disease prevention and pest control can be achieved without the use of carcinogenic chemicals.
Children are most at risk – they consume at a higher ratio to body mass than adults and their immature and developing brains, organs and immune systems are more susceptible to the effects toxins. Organic food minimises this exposure as well as providing more nourishment to fuel growth.
Supports the Environment
The chemicals used in non-organic farming contaminate the resources we rely on – the land, the water, the air. All this has to be cleaned up and the cost is borne by consumers in the form of taxes. Organic agriculture benefits the environment by encouraging bio-diversity in a mutually supportive arrangement – the ecosystem is part of the production process which in turn supports the ecosystem.
Through its higher nutritional value organic food can be seen to promote health. Non-organic food, on the other hand, is detrimental to health - the chemicals used in its production are ultimately absorbed by the body as toxins, which can impair the immune system leading to the onset of many diseases. This will surely contribute in some way to the burden on the National Health System. Again, we pay for this through taxes.
Organic food also prohibits the use of additives, such as: preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colourings, flavourings and enhancers - all of which have been shown to contribute to hyperactivity in pre-school children.
Hydrogenated fats must not be used in any organic food – ironically it has been shown that these types of fat have a more negative effect on cardiovascular health than the saturated fats they were intended to replace.
Organic food is good value – when you consider that it does not create the extra costs of cleaning up pollution and costs to the NHS. If these costs were included in the price of non-organic food this would show that organic food is in fact good value. Even if non-organic food still costs less than organic food, is it worth saving a few pence if it’s going to create environmental and health problems?
The genetic modification of crops is usually done to create new plant species that will tolerate higher doses of agri-chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers, which add to the toxic build-up in our environment. This is especially true for insecticides based on neonicotinoids, which are proven to cause of the rapid decline of natural bee colonies. Chemical agriculture fights against nature – and nature tends to fight back with bugs and diseases even more resistant to the ever increasing cocktail of poison thrown at it. Altering the DNA of a species to enable it to withstand this assault is simply accelerating the cycle, causing a more rapid decline in the natural resources and environment essential to produce nutritious food.