What is Organic Food?
The definition of organic food is: food produced using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods on organic farms. These methods are legally defined and any food sold as organic must be strictly regulated.
Organic farming recognises the connection between our health and how the food we eat is produced. Artificial fertilisers are banned and farmers develop fertile soil by rotating crops and using compost, manure and clover.
Organic animals are raised to the highest welfare standards, they are free range and have plenty of space and have access to fields.
Organic standards are the rules and regulations that define how an organic product is made. This is laid down in European Union (EU) law.
Why Buy Organic Food?
New research shows there are significant differences in anti-oxidant levels between organic and non-organic crops
Food you can trust
Hydrogenated fats and controversial additives like MSG, aspartame and tartrazine are banned under organic standards.
Better for the environment
Organic farming reduces pollution and greenhouse gases released from food production by restricting the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
In fact, plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms.
Higher animal welfare
Organic standards insist that animals are given plenty of space and fresh air to thrive.
A GM free diet
GM crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards.
Organic on a budget recomendations from the Soil Association.
Cook fresh fruit and veg from scratch. Avoiding over packaged convenience foods is usually both healthier and cheaper.
Eat less but better dairy and meat. Choose organic or grass fed red meat and opt for proportionately less white meat. Try lower cost cuts such as belly of pork or neck of lamb. Offal too can provide tasty nutritious meals.
Cook in bulk. Make meals in larger batches, use herbs and spices, and cheaper ingredients like tinned tomatoes or beans and pulses to bulk things out, and then freeze left over portions. This is a great way making less into more.
Grow your own, for the freshest, most local food you can get, on your doorstep.
Write a shopping list. As a nation we throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food every year. By planning meals in advance, buying what you need and not what you fancy, and using left-overs you should be able avoid the need to throw away any food at all, and save up to £50 a month
This year the Soil Association needs you to join their "Small Changes, Big Difference" campaign. For further information visit www.soilassociation.org/organicseptember.