Organic food is an ideal for all of us. Realistically, the reduced pesticides, greater land demand and higher labour costs of organic farming mean lower yields and higher prices. That means that we have to prioritise.
Organic food issues in the UK are not the same as those commonly listed for America. For instance, we don’t allow genetically modified foods and our pesticide laws are different.
Here is a UK-focused list of foods (and one drink) for which it is worth paying the organic premium:
Glyphosate weedkiller is routinely used on our wheat fields. This compound migrates into our food and there may be health risks.
Peeling removes most pesticides, but also removes fibre and nutrition. Go organic and there’s no need to peel.
Same as for pears – go organic, don’t peel.
Another one with a thin skin. Wash carefully.
Hard to grow in the UK without high energy use, so racks up the airmiles. Try to be seasonal.
Stay in season for better flavour and lower food miles. If you can’t resist an autumn strawberry, look for organic as these fruits absorb pesticide.
This one is purely for taste! Forced and out of season tomatoes may look good but have very little flavour.
Free-range alone is not enough. Organic eggs come from birds that have more space to roam, don’t have trimmed beaks and are only given antibiotics if they are unwell.
Organic chicken means meeting the same welfare standards as organic eggs. Happier chickens can even make for tastier chickens.
Organic standards for cows mean more time outside, so more grass. This means higher levels of omega-3 in the milk.
Bananas get peeled, but an organic banana means that far fewer pesticides went into the soil or into the air. So the banana growers and local environment will be much healthier.
As wine is made from grapes with their skins, any pesticide residues go into the brew. Go organic to avoid this.
Think of the planet and the people when you choose your food. That way everyone benefits.
The one thing I regularly buy organic is milk. I think it tastes better, and I am wary of the hormones they add to standard milk.
This is all very well, but the price difference with organic is still enough to make me avoid buying it. Shame but I feel healthy enough with standard fruit and veg anyway.
I have bought organic eggs and definitely noticed the different in colour. I also have eggs from a friend with chickens and they are always very yellow too. Not sure what makes the difference - but the eggs look more nutritious !
It was also news to me that organic and free-range are not synonymous. So I paid up for organic eggs this week - and there is a taste difference as well as lovely yellow yolks. Definitely worth it.
I am surprised that organic chickens have more space to roam, non trimmed beaks etc. That, with the omega 3 increase, is certainly something that might make me buy organic eggs.