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.
Routine use of drugs and antibiotics is banned. There is growing concern over the risk to health from antibiotic resistance.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are prohibited. There is currently insufficient evidence regarding their safety 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 nationwide delivery: Green Earth Organics, a family run, organic farm in Galway. Delivery costs start at € €2.50 for many areas (eg Dublin, Wicklow, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Limerick).
They offer 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. They also import foods in order to offer a bigger selection of produce year round.
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/