The only way that fruit, vegetables, cereals and grains that can be labelled organic is if absolutely no pesticides or fertilisers have been used in the soil for at least two years prior to picking. For meat to be labelled organic it must come from livestock that is free range and fed mainly on organic food, that has been proven not to have given drugs such as antibiotics. In my home country Britain, the farms labelled organic are regularly inspected and certified by the organisations belonging to the uk register of organic food standards (UKROFS), these are the governing body that are given the responsibility for enforcing all European Commission laws on the matter.
Of all the various approved organic-symbol organisations, the soil association is considered the best and the association with the highest standards. Check for your own countries corresponding regulatory bodies. The general public’s fears to the damage to the environment chemically treatment of foods along with concerns with the foods safety has increased demand for organic produce by consumers. There have been numerous reports of unexpectedly high levels of fertilisers and pesticides in foods, for example, the organophosphates in vegetables and fruits and lindane in cow’s milk. This exposure has brought a lot attention to the pitfalls and problems of modern intensive farming. Over 25000 tons of pesticides are used every year in the British isles. You can expect even higher usage in countries in which modern intensive farming methods are more common and prevalent throughout the land. Interestingly, despite this recent government surveys have been showing that under one percent of all food put under test scrutiny had fertiliser or chemical residue over the maximum legal limit and roughly two third’s had no detectable residues at all.
It is often claimed that food produced organically is superior in nutritional value and taste to food that is not organic. This is yet to be tested or proven. However, many people do seem to prefer the taste of organic fruits and vegetable. Due to the popularity and growing demand for organic produced foods, new ranges are produced almost weekly; including bake beans, biscuits chocolate. You will generally find that organic produce is usually more expensive to purchase and looks inferior to food produce grown through conventional methods of modern farming.
Presently, it is estimated that nearly all the food produce in the British isles is actually inorganic. Inevitably, most of the organic produce on the supermarket shelves in imported from overseas territory. However the government has brought into effect the organic aid scheme, which was recently introduced to provide monetary support for organic farmers to convert traditional organic farming methods. We can look forward to an increase in the availability of organic food sources produced in the British isles in the future.
Benefits of organic foods;
· Some people believe that foods produced using fertilisers and pesticides can be harmful to our health and has been linked to Cancer, nervous system problems, reproductive problems in woman and even erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men.
· Taste-wise organic food is often believed to be of better taste.
· Organic food is usually produced using more environmental friendly farming methods and practises.
· Animal reared through organic farming methods tend to enjoy a higher level of animal welfare.
Drawbacks of organic foods
· Sometimes organic food can be more expensive than food produced conventionally.
· Organic fruits and vegetables will often spoil easier.
· People tend to prefer the aesthetic appeal of inorganic produce
Before I finish this I thought it would be worth mentioning a recent study performed by ‘Which?’ magazine in the UK. It seems to give an opposite opinion to what most people would expect on the Organic food debate. The investigation was, by the magazines own admission, limited and narrow. However, it’s always a good idea to show both points of view. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/8340585/Organic-food-less-tasty-than-normal-watchdog-says.html.
I hope you have found this information useful. My intention is not to make your mind up for you, my mind still isn’t, but give you a basic understanding of the two sides of the argument.