Organic September 2021: A Guide To Organic Food
Get involved this Soil Association Organic September by finding out why organic food products are better for you. Or, why not Organic Your September by choosing produce that have the Certified Organic stamp of approval?
What is Organic September?
Organic September is a great time of the year to bring an awareness to the benefits of choosing products from brands that are certified organic or that use organic ingredients. Organic September reminds us of the care farmers and brands take to:
- Combat climate change.
- Protect our planet, animals & wildlife.
- Curate plants/ingredients that are kinder to our skin.
So, is it not up to us to support them and in turn treat our planet more kindly?
What it means to be organic
The produce will have been grown on an organic farm, meaning that it will:
- Have had fewer pesticides used on them and only a limited number of even natural pesticides such as citronella.
- Not be GM.
- Not use artificial colours or preservatives.
- Have been grown using natural fertilisers such as compost and manure, instead of chemical and synthetic fertilisers, protecting wildlife and diversity and reducing greenhouse gases.
Organic farming is a way of farming that is kinder to people, planet and animals by being regulated by strict ethical standards so as to protect the environment and biodiversity of our planet. These rules that organic farms have to abide by, help to conserve our world's resources and they hold values like minimising the negative impact farming can have on the environment, at it's core.
What does it means to be certified organic?
Organic farms are governed by bodies that will only give organic certificates to the farms and produce that abides by the high ethical standards they set. The most used governing body in the UK is called the Soil Association Organic Standard, with them certifying up to 70% of all UK certified organic food.
Did you know? If all farms in Europe followed the organic farming principles laid out by the Soil Association then we could see agricultural carbon emissions drop by 40-50% by 2050.
When you see this organic certificate on food produce this means that not only has the item you have bought been rigorously checked for good ethical practice when it has been farmed, but so have all other elements of the business that sells it. This includes sales, manufacturing, production and storage, so that you as a consumer can be sure that you are buying a product that is good for you, other people and the environment.
OF & G certify more than half of UK organic land, they also provide support and licensing to some of the UK's top organic food businesses. By gaining certification from OF & G it means you have learnt what it means to be an organic farm and what you must do to follow the ethos of organic and how to continue being classed as an organic farm.
For food or drink to be labelled as organic at least 95% of it's ingredients must come from organically sourced plants.
Certified Organic food brands we stock
Ocelot, PlayIn Chocolate, Seed & Bean, Superfoodies, Raw Halo & Nutcessity.
We also stock hundreds of products that contain organic ingredients at varying percentages. Watch this space as we plan to increase our organic range over the coming months.
Why is organic food better for you?
You might be wondering why people buy organic food when it is always so much more expensive than other farmed produce. These are the reasons why organic food is better for you:
- Your foods will contain less pesticides
- Less additives and preservatives. If your food is organic it will not have hydrogenated fats, artificial food colourings and sweetners and will stop your fruit and vegetables from being washed in chlorine.
- Organic farms are much more resilient than ordinary farms as their soil holds twice as much water making this beneficial in both cases of flooding and droughts.
- The quality of the food you are eating is much better for you, with much more nutritional value. It was found that organically produced crops were found to have up to 68% more antioxidants than in non-organic foods.
No GM ingredients - although GM foods are limited in the UK most livestock are fed them and the produce is unlabelled in supermarkets.
The 12 foods that you must buy organic
Not only are there the benefits above of buying organic food but there are also 12 foods that are prone to absorbing pesticides the most and these have been named the Dirty Dozen. These are:
- Celery, sweet bell peppers, spinach peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, kale, collard greens, cherries, potaoes, imported grapes & lettuce
There are also foods that are less of a worry as they have a thick skin that we peel off and these are called the Clean Fifteen. These are:
- Onions, avocados, sweetcorn, pineapples, mango, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi fruit, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes & sweet onions.
However, don't forget that any citrus fruits that you grate or use the rind should be bought as organic.