Since the 1950s over 3500 man-made chemicals have made their way into manufactured everyday foods, along with pesticides, antibiotics and hormone residues.
What does organic food mean?
Chemical fertilisers are prohibited
Nearly all pesticides are prohibited and residues are rarely found. By contrast, a higher incidence of pesticide residues occurs in non-organic foods, and there is growing concern about the ‘cocktail effect’ of multiple residues on health. One of the problems is that tests used to establish the safety levels of pesticides only test one pesticide at a time whereas in the real world, there is a huge combination of pesticides. No one has tested or can test the infinite number of combinations that we’re regularly exposed to.
Routine use of drugs and antibiotics is banned. There is growing concern over the risk to health from antibiotic resistance partly because of the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in livestock rearing.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are prohibited. There is currently insufficient evidence regarding the safety of genetically modified foods for humans, although negative health effects have been observed in animal trials.
Organic foods are higher quality
Looking at the most comprehensive, up-to-date research into organic compared to conventionally produced foods; this showed that organic crops were of a much higher nutritional quality than their non-organic counterparts.
With regard to antioxidants (including Vitamin C), for example, “There is strong scientific evidence that there are health benefits to eating a diet rich in antioxidants. Studies have linked an increased intake to protection against chronic diseases, including cancers.” Switching to organic is equivalent to eating one or two additional portions of fruit and veg per day.
Getting organic food from a local or Irish supplier also means that the food is super fresh, next best thing to picking it yourself. This means that they taste better. Of course some key nutrients like Vitamin C are very fragile, and are easily destroyed by light, heat etc. Vitamin C was found to be higher, on average, in organically grown crops.
In recent years, more organic food is available in many supermarkets but I'm just going to mention one supplier that offers online ordering and delivery throughout Ireland: Green Earth Organics, a family run, organic farm in Galway. They have 100’s of customers that order each week.
What they offer:
- A nationwide delivery service straight to your home or workplace (even when you’re not there).
- Their produce comes from their own farm but they also buy from other Irish suppliers, and they import foods in order to offer a full selection of produce year round.
- A wide range of organic products, not only fruit and veg but organic groceries including grains, eggs and cereals as well as personal care and household products.
- You can order one of the 14 seasonal veg boxes or fruit bags; or you can substitute items in this order or you can pick whatever suits from the shopping list.
- You don’t have to sign up for a contract and you can stop anytime you like.
- You can order as frequently as you wish eg once a week or once a month.Packaging is kept to a minimum.
- Delivery costs start at € €2.50 for many areas (eg Dublin, Wicklow, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Limerick) and for everyone else its €6.95.
When you sign up, as a bonus there’s free weekly recipes and nutritional advice delivered with your order
Also anyone can join their Healthy Eating group on Facebook: to share tips on using your veg, swap recipes etc https://www.facebook.com/groups/geohealthyeating/