How can I be sure foods are genuinely organic?
Wherever they have been produced, all organic foods come with full farm-to-table traceability back to their original source, and every producer or supplier is legally required to provide proof of authenticity. The certification number or label on the packet is the consumer’s guarantee of authenticity. For fresh foods that are sold loose, the producer or supplier will be able to provide proof if asked.
Do organic foods taste better than non-organic?
Because organic foods are grown naturally and not forced, generally speaking they are likely to have a better flavour than their non-organic equivalents. Numerous taste tests confirm this, as do the thousands of people who regularly eat organic foods.
Why are organic foods potentially healthier?
Organic foods are foods that you can trust and feel good about, and eating them brings many benefits. They contain no hydrogenated fats, artificial additives, flavourings or preservatives, as well as being produced without the use of artificial pesticides, genetically modified organisms or routine antibiotics. Organic fresh produce generally has lower nitrate levels and can have higher mineral and vitamin C content.
What about the cost?
Foods grown using modern intensive methods may be cheap, but have very high health, social and environmental costs, such as that of clearing up water pollution. Organic foods represent the true cost of growing nutritious, high-quality produce. Organic foods are often unfairly judged against mass-produced foods, which distorts the value for money you are actually getting.
Do organic farmers use pesticides?
A small number of predominantly natural pesticides are allowed in certain circumstances. Because all pesticides – whether natural or synthetic – are harmful, organic farmers must often seek written consent from certifying body before using them. All permitted pesticides are subject to constant review and will be removed from the permitted list as soon as better natural controls are developed.
Do organic farmers use only traditional methods?
No. Organic farming uses the best of the old with the best of the new and is constantly refining and developing new sustainable agricultural solutions that will be of long-lasting benefit to farming and to the environment.
Are organic yields always lower?
Organic farmers operate extensive systems, which means they keep fewer animals on a given area, and some of the available land is used to build up natural fertility, for example by growing green manures that cannot be used for grazing or sold as a crop. During the conversion period, withdrawal of artificial fertilisers and pesticides can also cause reduced yields initially. Once established, however, organic farms are highly productive and yields match or sometimes even exceed conventional equivalents.