10 Reasons to Go Organic

  1. It tastes better
  2. It is healthy
  3. It is safe
  4. Animals are healthier and happier
  5. More wildlife and biodiversity
  6. Can feed the world
  7. Planet friendly
  8. Resilient to climate change
  9. Non polluting
  10. Stores more carbon

It tastes better

Test it for yourself, organic really does taste better. Trials have also shown this. Harroway Organics won a prize for the best tasting carrots in Hampshire.

It is healthy

No food has higher amounts of beneficial minerals, essential amino acids and vitamins than organic food. Organic food avoids pesticides and all controversial additives including aspartame, tartrazine, MSG and hydrogenated fats. Organic food contains higher levels of vitamin C and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants and Omega 3. Organic milk for example, is on average 68% higher in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. There is evidence that organic food can reduce cancer, stroke and heart disease.Organic farming food quality and human health, a review of the evidence

It is safe

There are over 3,800 brands of insecticide, herbicide and fungicide approved for use in the UK. Some fruit and vegetables are sprayed as many as ten times before reaching supermarket shelves. Organic food avoids this.GM is banned from organic produce. Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards. Shoppers wanting to avoid GM products may be surprised to know that over a million tonnes of GM crops are imported each year to feed non-organic livestock, which in turn supply our supermarkets with pork, bacon, milk, cheese and other dairy products.

Animals are healthier and happier

Organic animals are free to pursue natural behaviour because they have plenty of outside space to thrive and grow, and are not routinely drugged with antibiotics. Organic standards prohibit cruelty and guarantee truly free-range lives for farm animals.

More wildlife and biodiversity

The UK Government’s own advisors found that plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms. Organic farming relies on wildlife to help control natural pests, so wide field edges are left uncultivated for bugs, birds and bees to flourish. They are also not sprayed away by the fertilisers, chemicals and pesticides routinely used on non-organic farms.Soil Association report the Biodiversity Benefits of Organic farming May 2000

Can feed the world

Organic crop yields equal or are more than industrially farmed crops. There is increased food security as there are few external inputs (chemical fertilisers, weedkillers), it is ecological so less dependent on scarce resources such as oil and is more sustainable. Organic farms require more manpower so help the local job market, really important as poverty is a prime cause of hunger.

Food Futures Now report 2007, and http://www.i-sis.org.uk/organicagriculturefeedtheworld.php
Organic can double or triple yields of conventional farming
Yields of organic corn and soya is the same but with less water and 30% less energy
Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change. report, The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) 2008

Planet friendly

Over 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food and farming today. Nitrogen fertiliser manufacturing is the worst offender. To produce just one tonne of food takes one tonne of oil, one hundred tonnes of water and produces seven tonnes of greenhouse gasses using modern industrial methods unlike Organic farmers who work with nature to feed the soil and control pests, so that the farm is a single balanced organism, carbon in = carbon out. By choosing organic, local and seasonal – we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

Resilient to climate change

Because organic soil contains higher levels of carbon stored in the humus, more soil microbes, better soil structure it withstands drought, heavy rains and erosion better. Less water for irrigation is needed, rains do not wash away the soil, or dry weather blow away the soil.

Non polluting

There are no poisonous chemicals (weedkillers, pesticides, fertilisers) which can kill wildlife and which cause illnesses such as cancer, autoimmune deficiency, respiratory problems and allergens. Friendly animals, insects and microbes which protect against pests and disease are not killed nor are bees which are essential for pollination. As a result there is no poisoning of our water supplies or our atmosphere.

Stores more carbon

Methane emissions from animals are only a problem in intensive farming practices. Organic soils have 50% more carbon in their soil.

Soil under grass stores more carbon than arable land, loss of carbon from arable soil is a problem when using nitrogen based chemical fertilisers. In industrial farming systems animals grow extra fast as they are fed on indigestible soya and grain, so there is very little grassland, high methane emissions and a problem with disposing of highly polluting slurry. Farm yard manure is second only to compost for restoring carbon and fertility to arable fields; grass rotations also restore soil fertility and carbon, animals feeding on the grassland then further increase its fertility. Low animal stocking, grass leys and natural slow growth means that methane emissions from animals is matched by carbon storage in the ground.

Organic soils have 50% more carbon in their soil. Conversion to organic practices would capture 2 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year back into the soil.

Carbon capture in the soil using organic methods can have a huge effect on carbon levels in the air. Soil contains three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and five times as much as forests and vegetation put together. The answer is local, organic grass reared meat not imported meat raised on fields created from forest, and not local animals intensively reared on soya, soya which was grown using methods producing high carbon emissions possibly on land cleared from forest.

Just imagine each 1% increase in average soil organic carbon levels could reduce atomospheric CO² by 2%.

Soil Association Nov 2009 Soil Carbon and Organic Farming