Why go Organic?

I first came across organic food 12 years ago when my wife suggested going on a detox diet. The basic premise of the diet was to remove as many unnatural toxins as possible and focus on ‘clean foods’. Off I went of my local organic shop and met some very nice bohemian types selling an array of organic ingredients I had never heard of like teff and tempeh along with the standards of broccoli and carrots.

Tooled up with brown paper bags of expensive and dirty produce I dutifully spent 3 weeks munching my way through such spirit lifting dishes as ‘vegetable surprise’ the only surprising element being the shocking combination of clashing flavour.

My vision at that time to outweigh the cost and sometimes questionable recipes was the prospect of leaving behind my susceptibility to heartburn and the idea of cleaning out a fair few ‘lifestyle’ toxins from the previous 25 years. Thankfully since then, most supermarkets now stock an organic range and detox recipes have improved.

In order for us to change a habit, job or lifestyle, the vision for what we are going to do must outweigh the cost of getting there

Vision > Cost = Change

My vision now is the impact on my health and the environment that organic farming and produce can have. Here are the reasons I have learnt over the last 12 years to switch to organic. After these reasons we will look at the costs involved and see if they are outweighed by the vision.

Reasons for organic food

  • Organic food is free of unnatural agrochemical pesticides — increasingly these types of pesticides are being shown as neurotoxins and damaging to the brain and nerve cells.
  • Organic food is better for children as their developing bodies are more susceptible to chemical insecticides.
  • Organic farms can be carbon sinks — organic farms can absorb more C02 than they produce making them a carbon sink environment
  • Organic food production encourages independent family farmers who are committed to a ‘whole system’ farming that protects our soil
  • Organic food production supports wildlife habitats
  • Organic farms are safer for farm workers — research from the Harvard Medical School has shown there are serious health risks to workers exposed to pesticides.
  • Eating organic may reduce your cancer risk — many herbicides and insecticides are potentially cancer causing.
  • Organic meat lessens our exposure to the antibiotics, synthetic hormones and drugs used on intensively farmed animals, along with giving the animals a much better quality of life.
  • Organic food is more nutritious
  • Organic food is more flavoursome

Therefore the Vision is…

So all in all the vision for buying organic produce is: an environment of better health and well-being for us and animals, better health for our children, reduced global warming, reduced cancer risk, safer and fairer work environments and the icing on the cake is improved nutrition and flavour!

Coming back to Vision > Cost = Change. I have applied this principal to buying organic ingredients.

So what of the cost of this vision?

I have compared ingredients from major supermarkets and priced a weekly shop for two, one for ordinary ingredients and one for all organic ingredients. I discovered that you can buy all organic ingredients for every meal of the week for as little as an additional £7.00 per adult!

VISION
Better health
Healthier children
Happier animals
Reduced global warming 
Reduced cancer risk
Safer and fairer working
More nutrition
Better flavour

COST — £1.00 per day per adult

Given that many people spend more than £2.25 a day on their morning coffee this £1.00 per day to go organic is surely outweighed by the vision.

Matt Wright — founder of www.checkyourfood.com
“Always on the side of information”

References:

Organic farming standards
Organic farming and climate change
Organic milk is more nutritious
Pesticides and cancer in children
Pesticide induced disease
Pesticides and neurotoxicity
History of intensive animal farming
Tesco
Waitrose