10 good reasons for choosing organic products
Organic food is food without additives or pesticide residues. Organic products are also your guarantee against genetically modified food and animal feed. Furthermore, organic production results in cleaner ground water and more diverse nature.
1. You get food without pesticide residues
When eating organic food, you avoid residues from the pesticides that the non-organic farmer uses to kill weeds, pests and fungal diseases.
The chemical pesticides are poisonous, but using them is legal as long as there is only a specific amount left in the finished food products. However, organic production is based on the precautionary principle and on the principle that it is better to prevent than to cure. Therefore, organic farmers use nature's own mechanisms to prevent diseases, pests and weeds in the fields instead of spraying their way out of the problems. For example, organic farmers grow different crops in the individual field from year to year, which helps prevent diseases in cereals and vegetables. Moreover, organic farmers are allowed to use a few pesticides in certain cases, for example in case of fungal diseases in orchards. These pesticides usually consist of natural substances, such as infusions of plants, micro-organisms or minerals.
2. You get food with more taste
Organic vegetables generally contain more nutrients and flavour and less water per kg than non-organic vegetables.
3. You get pure products without additives
Foods labelled organic are not changed through artificial flavouring or sweeteners. You see, the rules for adding of E-numbered substances to organic foods are much stricter than for non-organic foods. The food industry within the EU is generally permitted to use 370 different additives. Colouring, preservatives, emulsifiers, aromatics etc. The 370 substances each have an E number assigned by the EU. In organic food, only 49 of these substances are permitted - 321 of them are banned. The 49 substances are permitted in organic products when they are necessary. For example, pectin, which is extracted from lemon and orange peels, is essential for giving marmalade a good texture.
4. Organic animals have better living conditions
A high level of animal welfare is important in organic farming. Within organic farming, there is a large number of very specific rules about what the animals are entitled to. Therefore, drinking organic milk and eating organic meat and eggs does not leave a bad taste in your mouth. A high level of animal welfare is important in organic farming. Organic chickens, cows, pigs and other farm animals:
- Have plenty of space to move around, get coarse fodder, which is good for the animals' well-being and prevents disease, and they have access to outdoor areas, weather permitting.
- Must all in all have conditions that accommodate their natural behaviour and needs.
- Must be given organic feed. However, up to 5 % of the feed for pigs and poultry can be non-organic until the year 2012, where all feed must be organic.
5. Organic products are good for our ground water
Organic farmers do not use pesticides that can seep into the ground water. Organic farmers use none of the synthetic pesticides that have polluted a large part of the ground water in some areas. This means that when you buy organic products, you help protect our water from poisonous residues.
6. Maintain a plentiful and clean nature
Nature is more plentiful and cleaner in organic areas. One of the reasons for this is that organic farmers do not use the pesticides that other farmers use, and another reason is that they use less fertiliser than non-organic farmers.
7. Natural food is common sense
Organic production takes place in harmony with nature. The organic farmer lets his animals and plants live and grow at a natural pace - with the use of nature's own raw materials. For example, no inorganic fertilisers and pesticides are used to accelerate growth.
8. No thank you to genetically modified food
Organic products are your best guarantee against GMOsWithout your knowledge, you might be getting lots of food that has been produced through genetic modification.Many people think that it must be written on the packaging if genetic modification has been used in a food. But the manufacturer only has to write if genetically modified ingredients have been used in the product. Actually, a pig or a cow, unless it is organic, can easily have been living on genetically modified feed all of its life without us, the consumers, being informed of this - and this is actually by far the most common practice. This is not particularly fair, considering that a large number of consumers do not want to eat genetically modified food. Therefore, your best guarantee against GMOs in your food is to buy organic products - that way, you can be sure!
9. The EU ecolabel stands for thorough control
When buying a product with the EU ecolabel, you can be sure that the detailed rules of organic production have been complied with all the way from the farmer's field to the shelf in the shop. A thorough control system monitors this. A company that works with organic products must make very sure that the organic products are kept separate from any non-organic products. Otherwise, the company can be given a fine and lose its right to trade with organic products.
10. Organic products are good for developing countries
A number of international studies show that organic farming can help poor farmers in Africa, Asia and South America produce more food and earn more money. Therefore, it is an advantage to the farmers when there is an ecolabel on your coffee, bananas and other products from these countries. In recent years, the advantages of organic farming have made several hundred thousand farmers in third world countries change to organic farming. According to the international organisation for organic farming called IFOAM, the number of organic farmers worldwide increased to 1.8 million in 2010 - that is 400,000 more than the year before. The increase has mainly taken place in poor countries in the third world. Here, the farmers can often harvest more than they used to when applying organic methods, and in addition to this, they are given a higher price for the products they sell. Therefore, India is currently the country in the world with the most registered organic farms, namely 677,000. Often, several farmers are registered as a group, and therefore, the Indian government estimates that there are more than a million families making a living from organic farming in the large country.