|The word ‘Organic’ means ‘living’, and in practical terms, this means natural food that is grown and processed without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Nothing unnatural is allowed so there are no growth hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, dyes, chemical coatings or irradiation allowed. There is no genetic engineering allowed in organic foods. Organic food is nothing else but good pure nutritional food – the way it used to be.
The food we eat affects our health. Most conventionally produced food comes from production systems that rely on a cocktail of up to 350 different chemicals. The World Health Organisation has classified many of these substances as hazardous to our health. In studies, the short and long term effects on our health from these toxic chemicals ranges from short term conditions such as ADS (Attention Deficit Syndrome), allergies, digestion and reproductive disorders to long term illnesses such as cancers and degenerative diseases like Alzheimers. Our organic food however is different because by definition it is pure, wholesome and nutritious. There are absolutely no toxins or otherwise artificial or synthetic chemicals, coatings or treatments that in any way affect quality of organic food.
In harmony with Nature
Organic and bio-dynamic farmers work with nature, promoting the diversity and sustainability of the environment and building upon a healthy eco-system. Organic agriculture preserves the overall quality of our lakes, rivers, estuaries, wetlands, ground and drinking water. Organic farming relies on renewable resources, using 70% less and producing much less pollution than conventional farming. Preserving the soil is a key factor. They practice methods such as ‘intercropping’ where crops are mixed, rather than grown in large fields, minimizing the impact of agriculture on the environment.
Humane treatment to animals
Organic livestock is raised in an ethical and humane manner, which puts emphasis on the health and treatment of the animals. Fresh air and space to move around and access to the outdoors ensure a healthy and stress-free animal. They are fed only organically grown feed and are reared without the unnecessary use of anti-biotics, growth promoters or hormones. Organic animals are never fed unnatural food such as animal scraps which is the practice that lead to the livestock neural disease ‘BSE’ and its related ‘kreuzfeld Jacobs’ disease in humans.
Organic farmers plant many more species of fruit and have brought back many heirloom varieties from the brink of extinction. These old varieties are often tastier and juicier but not suited to large scale industrial farming. In Britain, organic farmers grow 100 different varieties of potatoes alone! This bio-diversity gives us the joy and experience of eating new and different fruits and vegetables.
Genetic engineering is not permitted in organic food and an organic farmer looses his organic certification if his crop is not 100% gm-free. Genetically engineered agricultural products have an unknown impact on the safety and health of the consumer and environment. ‘Organic Foods and Café’ does not sell genetically modified food. For further information please read our GM leaflet.
Trusting our food
Organic labeling tells you all the ingredients – there are no hidden ingredients that there can legally be in conventional foods as in conventional foods, the ingredients of each individual ingredient do not have to be listed. You know you can trust organic food because of the organic certification which has strictly enforced criteria – look for the organic symbol.
In terms of health, prevention is better than cure. It is essential not to overload our bodies with toxins, which damage our immune systems. Organic farmers avoid using unnecessary and harmful chemicals, additives and drugs. Many of these substances have been classified by the W.H.O. as poisonous to your health and the environment. In addition, organic foods retains essential nutrients, such as iron and salicylic acid, which are stripped away in conventional food processing.
Value for money
You get what you pay for – this is very valid for organic food. Organic food really has more nutrients, vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorous than conventionally produced food. This is because in organic farming, great emphasis is on nourishing the soil which in turn give healthy plants. Healthy plants give produce that is packed full of all the vitamins and minerals which give flavour and goodness to our food. The time allowed for the crops to grow by not using chemical fertilisers is the final key elements making it possible for organic crops to have much higher nutrition levels.
Organic produce and meats retain a pure, fresh flavour the way nature intended. In studies, organic produce was proven to have more intense flavour molecules, a direct result of a healthy, dynamic soil. In organic food, flavour is not contaminated or masked by residues, preservatives or waxes. Nor is it enhanced to many times the flavour that is actually present which is common practice to achieve a full flavour where very little is actually there in conventional food.
Protecting our future generations
We all want the best for our children, and we have selected organic food that provides them with the goodness and nutrition that their growing bodies need to develop optimal mental, emotional and physical performance. It is imperative that they are protected from the detrimental effects of health-damaging toxins found in conventional foods. Todays children have unacceptably high levels of asthma, eczemas and syndromes such as Attention Deficit Syndrome. Many of these can be linked to unhealthy additives in childrens foods and by eating organic foods we can prevent and alleviate these problems.
Supporting Small Farms
Organic farms are usually small, family run operations that take seriously the health of the environment and their stewardship of the land they work. They use techniques which limit agricultures impact on the soil, on streams and ground water, bird and wild life and on human health. We have picked selected family run organic certified farms where quality and freshness can be assured.
Why does Organic food cost more?
The truth is that we have become too used to paying very little for our food and what we put in our mouths has become nothing more than a business commodity. In order to produce high quality organic food, every step of production is more labour-intensive, time-consuming and frankly, not as profitable. Organic food takes longer to grow, as there are no growth hormones and chemical fertilizers used. Due to a lack of fumigants and wax coatings, organic food is often more perishable, there more is lost in transit between the farmer and the consumer. Most farms are small family run operations that do not benefit from government subsidies. The truth is that we are getting what we are paying for: a good quality product that is nutritious, delicious and safe for us to eat and not the cheapest product that is possible to produce.
Fresh organic produce has an average of 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than their intensively farmed counterparts. Organic produce is not covered in a cocktail of poisonous chemicals. The average conventionally grown apple has 20 – 30 artificial chemicals on its skin even after washing. Organic produce is usually picked when it is ripe, unlike conventional food, which to allow for extra processing and commercial ease, is picked unripe and before it is fully developed.