Organic food has gone from being a little known health shop secret to big business in a short space of time. As consumers learn more and more about the conditions in which their food is grown and produced they are fast rejecting products that are riddled with pesticides additives and unethical manufacture or production.
What is Organic Food?
In order to be labelled ‘organic’ the product must meet certain criteria and originate from growers or processors who are registered and inspected by an approved certification body like the Soil Association. The criteria set by the Soil Association is stringent, and any item bearing its logo is guaranteed to meet their strict and rigorous accreditation requirements. The Soil Association makes sure that all items are produced in accordance with their animal and environmental standards, many of which, especially where animal welfare and pesticide use is concerned, exceed the government’s minimum requirements.
Organic Food and Children
There is always a lot of debate about organic food and whether it is actually ‘better’ for us than non-organic produce. There is no definitive answer, although the fact that organic food is produced to such high standards and without use of genetically modified organisms, trans-fats and generally, most additives, is in itself reason enough to declare it more ‘desirable’ at the very least.
Encouraging Children to ‘Go’ Organic
With healthy eating campaigns prevalent in most schools, children are more aware than ever of the benefits of a good, healthy diet. If you want to go one step further and make healthy eating synonymous with organic eating, then making your children familiar with the Soil Association symbol is a good starting point.
Can I Buy Organic Versions of Everything?
An organic diet does not have to be vegan, vegetarian or lacking or restrictive in anything (other than all those nasty pesticides and additives!) A quick browse in your supermarket, health food shop or at your local farmers market should give you a pleasant surprise – most manufacturers are cottoning onto to the fact that consumers want a healthy, natural alternative.
Is it More Expensive?
Organic food is generally a little pricier than its non organic counterpart. This is simply because it is more expensive to produce organic food. It could be argued that the more people turn to an organic diet, the cheaper it will become, which is another good reason to promote organic eating from an early age!
What to Buy
Many independent high street butchers are now stocking organic meat. Satisfy yourself of its quality and source – remember that organic products must come from growers or processors who are registered and inspected by an approved certification body such as the Soil Association. Organic meat is widely available in the leading supermarkets.
Fruit and Vegetables:
Again, widely available in local greengrocers, supermarket, farmers markets and through organic box deliveries. Look out for its label of approval though!
What else is Available?
A good look around the supermarket, particularly in aisles you never usually visit, can yield some surprising discoveries – and can ultimately make for tastier, adventurous results in the kitchen! Experiment with your organic finds, be they meat, fruit or vegetables, pulses or grains and make food shopping an adventure rather than a chore.