• Good Food Guide
 

Organic Foods - Better or the same?

Are you concerned that the food you are eating may be harmful to you and your family? With news reports about GM (genetically modified) foods, health scares about eating beef, chemicals on food affecting people's health and the intelligence of children, it's no wonder that many are looking to organic foods as an option.

Organic farming produces plant and animal foods without the excessive use of chemicals. It focuses on using fertile soil along with a variety of crops to maintain healthy growing conditions which produce a food with more nutrients and less chemicals than typical commercial foods. Organic farming prohibits the growing of GM foods, a controversial issue among commercial growers.

Animals reared on organic farms are treated properly with room to behave like animals and are fed healthy food sources not laden with drugs and other chemicals.

One of the common benefits proclaimed about organic foods is that they taste better - but there are many other benefits to incorporating organic foods into your diet. Besides the physical benefits to you there are environmental benefits and benefits to the animals and people who live and work on the farms.

Organic foods prevent people from ingesting regular amounts of pesticides and insecticides commonly found in commercial products. Animals are not routinely given antibiotics and other medication which enters the food supply to humans. Some research suggests that this excessive use of chemicals in food can be linked to increased health problems and interferes with the healthy development of children.

Organic food also protects the planet. Organic farming ensures that bio-diversity remains available in the foods we eat and the wildlife that live on the farms. Fruits and vegetables are naturally available in 100's of varieties. Commercial growing limits the variety of each food available by mass producing only a handful. Many species of birds, insects and other animals are affected by the chemicals and farming conditions used in growing commercial foods.

Organic farms grow a mix of crops and promote a balanced ecosystem including insects that protect crops from pests and worms and other micro-organisms which fertilize the soil.

Organic farming is considered 'sustainable' farming. The workers and the animals are not as exposed to dangerous toxins or working and living conditions. This enables people to continue growing healthy foods for the rest of society without reliance on huge machinery and chemicals.

The animals raised on organic farms are not subject to the terrible living conditions imposed on commercially reared animals who often live in exceedingly small spaces without the freedom to move or interact. These unhealthy conditions lead to a spreading of illness which is combated with regular doses of antibiotics.

On organic farms the animals' needs are given priority. Healthy food, clean living conditions and freedom to behave like animals means healthier animals. When animals are sick they are cared for individually according to their actual needs.

Organic, sustainable farming protects humans, animals and the environment. Increasing the demand for organic products will encourage this form of farming and ensure that the food supply available to our children is a healthy one.

Why Buy Organic?

It has never been easier to shop for organic food, and there has never been so much choice. Every food category now has an organic alternative. It's also common sense; organic food is good food. Good to eat, good for the environment, good for the small-scale farmers and the farm workers who produce it.

Chefs across the country are committed to using organic ingredients because plants from healthy soils and organically fed livestock provide us with more flavorful food. Organic foods allow true flavour to shine through unlike other non-organic foods that look and taste good but are often full of E numbers and artificial flavourings and ingredients.

By supporting local, sustainable and organic farms in your local community you also support the larger community of which we are all a part. By eating organic food you are providing the healthiest choice for your family and supporting the farms that provide us with healthy and ecological neighbourhoods.

The 'go local' food movement is flourishing - over 15% of people buy organic food locally and this number continues to rise as the number of farmer's markets, box schemes, cafes and restaurants serving organic food increase. GuideMeGreen helps you to find locally produced foods which are fresher, healthier and more economical. It cuts down on transport costs and 'food miles' where an average shopping basket can include fruit and vegetables transported from all over the world.

Organic Food is not a new idea. It is merely the way that we all used to eat food some years ago.

After World War 2 there was a rush to increase food production with government incentives being offered. the result was an enormous increase in the use of artificial Nitrates and pesticides. Much higher yields were produced but at what price?

An insight into the effect of residual chemicals can be found by looking at the condition of people recovering from chemotherapy after Cancer treatment. Medical advice is that patients should eat only organic food as their bodies cannot cope with the chemicals in 'normal' food.

Eating organic food, in particular root vegetables gives not only a feeling of well being but increases resistance to illness and offers a younger healthier body.

The restaurant in the UK parliament has been fully organic for some years. (despite the fact that the government is not particularly supportive of organic food production.

If you want to live longer and be healthier eat organic!