There are more and more categories and labels popping up on food packaging nowadays, meaning it’s getting easier to make good choices whilst doing your weekly shop.
Organic food is more widely available than ever, meaning finding top quality foods is the easiest it’s ever been!
What is Organic Food?
So, what is organic food? Organic is a label that is applied to food that has been produced in line with strict guidance on practices and resources.
To be labelled as organic, foods must not have used any artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colourings or MSG.
For example, growing fruit and vegetables without the use of chemical pesticides and avoiding hormones when rearing livestock would constitute food being organic. All-in-all, organic foods prove better for the environment and humans alike.
Does Organic Food Taste Better?
One of the many reasons people opt to choose organic food is because of the reportedly better taste.
Without the use of chemical and unnatural processes, vegetables and fruit, in particular, are in their most natural form, meaning the taste is unhindered. Whilst organic produce is slightly more expensive than non-organic options, it’s often considered worth it for the unhindered flavour.
Avoiding the use of GMOs also means food is more nutrient-rich and therefore you can get more vitamins and minerals from your 5-a-day.
Why Choose Organic Food?
Aside from the fact that organic food does taste better, organic foods prove to be a good choice for ethical shoppers for many other reasons.
Organic foods increase the fertility of the land and reduce damage to the large swathes of land used for commercial farming. For example, the use of pesticides in mass farming has detrimental effects on wildlife, biodiversity, water contamination as well as human health.
Choosing foods that avoid the use of pesticides means you can be sure that you’re reducing the impact of the foods on your plate.
Another reason for choosing organic is the effect on animals; if meat is a key part of your diet, it is a good idea to consider what type of product you are consuming.
Non-organic meat that you would find very cheaply, is produced with the use of hormones and antibiotics that end up in the end product that you consume.
In large-scale meat production, farmers are mostly concerned with the profit they can extract from the animals, in order to ensure cattle and other livestock can survive the rearing process, they will be pumped with hormones and antibiotics that are intended to make the animals more sturdy.
These hormones are not found in the organic production of meat, meaning they are not found in the product that ends up as a part of your meal.
If that wasn’t enough, the health benefits of organic produce are unrivalled. There have been lots of studies into the pros of organic foods and the findings are incredible; for example, several scientists have discovered that zinc, vitamin C, iron and a range of other micronutrients are found in higher levels in organic foods.
Another study found organic berries and corn contained up to 52% more vitamin C.
A less-widely known attribute of organic foods is that they contain up to 30% less nitrate. Nitrate reduces the body’s ability to move oxygen around and can also be linked to serious health issues such as cancer.
Where Can You Find Organic Food?
As the demand for fresh, organic foods has increased over the years, so has the availability.
In the majority of large supermarket chains, as well as smaller local stores, you will likely be able to find a wide selection of organic produce. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-Op and M&S all have their own-brand ranges of organic foods that are widely available.
What Foods Can Be Organic?
Not sure which foods you should be buying organic then check out this extensive list:
Fruit & Vegetables
One of the most common types of foods that are available organically grown is fruit and veg. Apples, bananas, broccoli and carrots are all often available certified organic.
Fizzy Drinks & Snacks
Organic doesn’t necessarily always equal healthy, as you can still find junk options produced organically. Organic sodas, crisps, biscuits, cakes and other sweet treats can all now be found easily.
Beans and Pulses
For those looking for slightly more health-conscious organic choices, most cupboard staples now have organic counterparts. Chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, pasta and rice are all stocked in supermarkets as part of their organic ranges.
Cheese and Dairy Products
Similar to organic meat being available, other animal-based foods are now being made organically. Organic cheeses, yoghurts, creams and butter are made with the milk from cows that have been farmed without the use of hormones and antibiotics.
The organic versions of these fridge fillers are often the easiest swap to make as they are so widely available and promoted. The reduced levels of hormones found in these are definitely a great first step for anyone looking to shop more ethically.
Organic wines have gained a cult following in recent times, with connoisseurs even suggesting that organic wines are finer than your regular bottle.
The grapes grown to produce organic wine are grown without pesticides, insecticides and are grown in the most biodiverse soil fields. Some people have even suggested that the lack of unnatural additives in the wine itself means you get less of a hangover. Cheers!
Whilst the price difference of organic foods can put some shoppers off, try making some easy swaps next time you are in the supermarket. The only way to really test whether organic food tastes better is to try for yourself!