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Should you be buying organic?

Wander down the fruit and veg aisle at the supermarket and you’ll notice that the organic food section is probably a lot bigger than a few years ago. Organic is clearly in demand, but is it worth the extra cash?

 

A recent survey by the Soil Association found that people buy organic for a number of reasons including perceived  better taste, improved animal welfare and to care for the environment and nature. The reason given by over half of those surveyed was healthy eating and avoiding chemical residues. Organic agriculture means producing foods without chemical fertilisers, antibiotics and drugs and restricted use of pesticides. The result is that we in turn ingest fewer chemicals. Although this all stands to reason, there has been little to suggest that organic has a greater benefit to our health than non organic.

If you want to include organic food in your diet, there are a few products that you may think are worth considering… 

Milk

Organic milk has a better ratio of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids than conventional milk. Potentially boosting its’ brain-building capability.

Wholemeal bread and flour

Due to the high fibre content and the grain husk being present, levels of pesticide residues in organic bread are significantly lower.

Dried fruit

Non-organic fruits use sulphur dioxide to preserve the colour when drying. This has been linked to respiratory problems in people sensitive to the chemical.

Wine

Similar to dried fruit, it’s sulphur dioxide that causes an issue here. Organic wines will still contain some sulphur dioxide, but at much lower levels. Many think that organic wine is less likely to give you a hangover than regular wine, which is always a bonus.

Celery, apples, lettuce and strawberries

A rather mixed bag of ingredients, but all share the common problem with pesticide residues. Even after washing, these fruit and vegetables have been found to have a large chemical footprint.

So the argument isn’t conclusive. Spending a bit of extra money on those things that you’ll consume in large frequent quantities is probably the most sensible option. However shelling out on a new organic spice rack won’t really have much impact.

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