I never used to get all the fuss about organic food. I just thought it was for posh people!
It wasn’t until I started working for Neal’s Yard remedies (an all organic company) a couple of years back that I started becoming aware of the negative impact pesticide use has on both our health and the environment. My opinion has taken a total U-turn and I now don’t bat an eyelid about spending a tiny bit more on my food for better quality. My work is all about beauty and I’ve become slightly obsessed about researching what makes us look beautiful!? The answer is simple, health.
If we’re unhealthy our skin looks grey or sallow, our hair becomes lank and we lack sparkle in our eyes. When we are at our best health-wise it shines through and we start to look more attractive.
I personally feel that eating an organic diet is more healthy than choosing non-organic foods. When it comes to fruit and vegetables it has been proven the vitamin content is often higher in organic produce.
“A 2014 study into organic fruit and vegetables at Newcastle University concluded that in organic food, quantities of antioxidants, which help prevent cancer and heart disease and boost immunity, are between 19 and 69 per cent higher.” (The Telegraph)
To me this is an easy decision, not only are organic vegetables higher in nutrients they are also chemical free. In my opinion, we shouldn’t be putting anything into our bodies that isn’t from this earth. We have no idea how our bodies react to artificial pesticides and fertilisers.
Another thing that really concerns me about the wide use of pesticides is the damage it’s doing to our environment. Our bees are in serious decline and without them we’re a bit screwed!
‘Widely used insecticides damage the survival of honeybee colonies, the world’s largest ever field trial has shown for the first time, as well as harming wild bees’ (The Guardian)
I’m not vegetarian (although I was for 10 years) I now eat a little meat as a treat and I do consume dairy. I’m particularly strict with myself about only consuming organic animal products. This is mainly due to the overuse of antibiotics in the farming industry.
Animals in factory style farms are often kept in cramp, unhygienic conditions which makes them prone to disease and infection, for this reason they are regularly treated with antibiotics. We have a huge problem at the moment, where harmful bacteria are becoming resistant to the antibiotics we use and there is thought to be a link between this and over-use of antibiotics.
‘In Britain alone an estimated 10,000 people die each year from antibiotic resistance illnesses, and experts fear these diseases could cause one million deaths across Europe by 2025.’ (The Soil association)
Around 40% of all antibiotics in the UK are given to farm animals and these are often perfectly healthy animals.
Guaranteed the price between organic and non-organic meat is distinctly different but it’s with good reason. Often the quality of life for an animal raised on an organic farm is going to be dramatically different from those raised on an intensive-style farm.
I’ve driven ex-boyfriends mad when I’ve insisted on only purchasing certain items if they are organic in the supermarket (maybe that’s why I’m single!) and my parents are only just understanding my opinions on food.
It’s a personal choice and I can get that not everyone can afford the luxury of eating organic all the time. I’ve found the rule of the ‘clean 15’ and the ‘dirty 30’ useful.
This is basically a recommendation of foods that are most widly effected by pesticide use and those you can get away with buying non-organic. Check it out here
The Soil Association are fantastic and their website is great place to lean more about eating organic.