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Why Buy Organic Food?

With a bountiful supply of non-organic produce in our supermarkets, why bother going organic at all?

At the end of the day, only you can decide.

And even if you just start with a single organic item a week, you'll be making a difference.

The Soil Association's Top 10 Reasons To Go Organic

1. It's healthy  
On average, organic food contains higher levels of vitamin C and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants.

2.  No nasty additives
Organic food doesn't contain food additives, which can cause health problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity. Amongst the additives banned by the Soil Association are hydrogenated fat, aspartame (artificial sweetener) and monosodium glutamate.

3. Avoids pesticides
Over 350 chemical pesticides are routinely used in conventional farming and residues are often present in non-organic food. The UK government recently found high levels of pesticide residues in baby food, spinach, dried fruit, bread, apples, celery, and chips.

4. GM-free
Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are not allowed under organic standards.

5. Reliance on drugs removed
There is growing concern about the high use of antibiotics on farm animals and the possible effects on human health. Soil Association standards prohibit the routine use of antibiotics.

6. No hidden costs
As taxpayers we pay £120m annually to remove chemicals from our drinking water, mainly pesticides used in intensive farming.

7. High standards
All organic farms and food companies are inspected at least once a year. The standards for organic food are laid down in European law.

8. Care for animals
The benefits of organic farming as practised to Soil Association standards are acknowledged by animal welfare organisations such as Compassion in World Farming, as well as the UK government.

9. Good for wildlife and the environment
The UK government, has confirmed organic farming is better for wildlife (along with major conservation groups like RSPB and WWF), produces less carbon dioxide - the main global warming gas - as well as fewer dangerous wastes generally.

10. Top for taste
Many people prefer organic food because they say it tastes better. It’s no accident that top chefs like Raymond Blanc, Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall, Sophie Grigson, Jamie Oliver, and Anthony Worral Thompson all choose organic.

“The health of man, beast, plant and soil is one indivisible whole”
Founder of the Soil Association, Lady Eve Balfour, The Living Soil, 1943

Artifical pesticides have been linked to health problems. Although governments and manufacturers continue to insist their use is safe, they have only tested the individual chemicals. There has been no research into the long-term effects of multiple compounds.

There has been research has shown there are risks to our health, both from our food and from being around fields when they are sprayed.

In some studies, children have been found to be especially susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticides.

And, according to the National Resources Defense Council, a number of research studies have found higher instances of brain cancer, leukemia and birth defects in children with early exposure to pesticides.

Of course, we recommend you read the research and make up your own mind.

Wikipedia has an interesting discussion on pesticide residues in food.

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